One of the possible names the Washington Capitals could have targeted for goaltending help this summer is off of the market.
Pending unrestricted free agent, Joonas Korpisalo is pending no more as he has signed a one-year contract extension to stay with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Korpisalo played the backup role in the Columbus net this season, the worst statistical year of his career. The Finnish netminder amassed a 7-11-0 record with a gaudy 4.15 goals-against average and .877 save percentage.
OFFICIAL: We have signed G Joonas Korpisalo to a one-year contract extension for the 2022-23 season.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) May 20, 2022
While Korpisalo definitely isn’t the pick of the litter when it comes to free-agent goaltenders this summer (-13.2 goals saved above expected), he does have close to 200 starts in the NHL and has shown flashes of number one upside in the past. In 2019-20 he was Columbus’ starter for the playoffs and recorded two shutouts in their opening-round victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
While Caps general manager Brian MacLellan admitted on Breakdown Day that there was a chance the team could turn to incumbents Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek for a third consecutive season, he made it clear that all options on how to improve the position are on the table.
“I think our goalie decision will be our first one,” MacLellan said of the team’s offseason plan. “And then we’re going to go from there depending on how much money we have.”
Both Samsonov and Vanecek will be restricted free agents and are eligible for arbitration. Samsonov, 25, made $2 million last season while Vanecek, 26, made just $716k in the final year of his entry-level contract.
“We’re going to explore,” MacLellan continued. “There’s a couple guys. I don’t know if it’s a deep free-agent market. We’ll talk to other teams and then we’ll evaluate. [Samsonov and Vanecek] have both been pretty good but not great.”
With Korpisalo now off the board, the NHL’s not-so-great goaltending market got shallower.
Here’s a look at the names remaining that could fit the bill and their 2021-22 stats:
Possible available goaltenders
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