G Joonas Korpiaslo – UFA ($1.3m AAV)
Last season, we watched as Joonas Korpisalo struggled and played his way out of a trade, eventually learning that he needed season-ending hip surgery. This year, we’re watching history repeat itself. Though, not exactly. Joonas is playing at the opposite end of the spectrum this season, giving this team stellar goaltending and a chance to win every night. Will Jarmo be forced to hold onto him?
Rumored asking price: Draft capital, can they get a 2nd round pick here? Teams interested: Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, LA Kings, Vegas
The return here will likely depend on whether or not the acquiring team wants to sign Korpisalo beyond this season. If a team sees him as a longer-term fit, the Jackets could very well get a high pick in this trade (say, a 2nd rounder). If not, I would expect the return to be a couple of mid/low round draft picks. Which is great, for a guy they owed one more opportunity to – Korpisalo has been a great competitor for this team, and he deserves a chance to succeed as a starter somewhere else.
F Gustav Nyquist – UFA ($5.5m AAV) (Currently on IR)
If you’re wondering why the Jackets are holding Gavrikov out of the lineup, you can probably look no further than Nyquist, who has been on the IR for over a month now. He may return at season’s end, which is perfect for a team eyeing a long playoff run, and in my opinion, hypothetically, could actually generate more of a return than if he were healthy. Sounds odd, doesn’t it?
Rumored asking price: Draft capital (probably a conditional mid-round pick). Teams interested: Edmonton, Dallas, Toronto
How can he generate more of a return? Take a team like Toronto, for example: they used their cap space to acquire Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari, leaving them with literally no room to add money. Nyquist won’t cost a dime towards the cap because he’s on IR, projected to return just in time for the playoffs. Something like a conditional 3rd round pick would be perfect here – if Nyquist doesn’t play a certain number of games, it becomes a 5th or 6th rounder.