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MOST BREAKING: KORPISALO EXTENDED; KUKAN GONE

May 20, 2022, 1:18 PM ET [3 Comments]
Zak MacMillan
Columbus Blue Jackets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Update 4:35pm

Dean Kukan (D) has returned home to join the ZSC Lions of the Swiss League, per Fernando Lavezzo. Kukan has been in and out of the lineup between injuries and depth defenders on the CBJ roster. Kukan was an undrafted player out of Switzerland, and returns home for the first full season of European hockey since the 2014-2015 season. In parts of 6 seasons with Columbus, the Swiss defender had 30 points (5 goals, 25 assists) in 153 games with a plus +3 rating and 46 penalty minutes. Best of luck to Kukan on his future endeavors and heading home.

As for the main roster, this begins to open the defensive depth need, even with Gabriel Carlsson as the leader to take the next step into the 2022-23 season. Gavin Bayreuther, Nick Blankenburg, and Jake Christiansen are the right behind for depth defensemen options on the roster.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have extended goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to a one-year contract, worth an average annual value of $1.3M dollars for the 2022-2023 season. Korpisalo is coming off a two-year, $5.6M dollar contract to continue with the team that drafted him in the third-round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Korpisalo is coming off one of his worst years of NHL hockey, and taking an over 50% pay cut to remain in the system and structure he has been around during his entire time in North America. Korpisalo is expected to compete with Daniil Tarasov for the backup position to Elvis Merzlikins in the upcoming season.

The Finnish netminder will be fresh off a hip surgery that sidelined him since March 2022. His last season stats were 7-11-0 with a 4.15GAA and a 0.877 save percentage. His career stats are 76-66-21 with a 3.04GAA and a 0.902 save percentage. Smart move to keep the experience and save on the money, and could be a $750K asset at next deadline if there’s more struggles.

What are your thoughts on the move?

More to come…
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