NHL Trade Deadline Primer: Georgiev, Korpisalo and the second tier goalies
The 2022 NHL Trade Deadline is Monday, March 21 at 3 p.m. ET. As we get closer to the deadline we will take a look at some individual players who could be on the move. We continue today New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev, New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo, and the rest of the second-tier goalie options that could be available on the trade market.
The goalie market is going to be an interesting one to watch ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline over the next couple of weeks. Chicago Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is the obvious top player that could be available, but there is no guarantee he will move (or if even wants to move) ahead of the deadline. There is also the fact that there are not a ton of teams even in the market for a goalie upgrade. At least as far as starters are concerned.
After you get by Fleury, Alexander Georgiev, Semyon Varlamov, Joonas Korpisalo, and maybe Braden Holtby could be potential trade targets around the league.
What the return might look like
There is not a major blockbuster trade to be had here. Goalies in general tend to not bring major returns, and that is especially true at this time of year when you are talking about potential rentals.
Just for some perspective here: Back in 2020 Robin Lehner went to Vegas for a second-round pick, Malcolm Subban, and a low-level prospect.
In 2019 Petr Mrazek went to Philadelphia from Detroit for a third-and fourth-round pick when he was still a pending restricted free agent.
Back in 2017 Ben Bishop went from Tampa Bay to Los Angeles for some conditional late round picks, Peter Budaj, and Erik Cernak.
Lehner and Bishop were well established goalies with strong track records of success and did not bring significant returns. Expect similar returns if players like Varlamov, Korpisalo, or Holtby move.
Georgiev is the intriguing one because he is so young and still has some potential, but he has really struggled this season and would probably part of a package deal with other assets.
The most logical landing spots
• Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals
The Maple Leafs seem to have their focus on adding to their defense, but that goalie situation is a problem right now. Jack Campbell is injured and had been struggling before that, and Petr Mrazek has not played well at all lately. That is a nightmare situation for a team that has Stanley Cup goals and is facing more pressure than probably any other team in the league. They probably do not have the salary cap space to acquire Fleury (and does Fleury want to go to Toronto?) so one of the second tier goalies might be more of an option.
Edmonton has a lot of problems, and goalie is definitely among them. They can not continue to waste more prime years of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and right now this team is in real danger of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs entirely. Goaltending is not the only position the Oilers need help at, but it is definitely one that can solve the most problems quickly if they get the right goalie.
Washington might be cooling in its goalie quest with the way Vitek Vanecek has played, but do you trust him and Ilya Samsonov to get you through the playoffs right now and compete for a Stanley Cup? Like Edmonton it might not be the biggest need, but it could be an easy fix to solve multiple problems.
Wild Card team: Vegas Golden Knights
This will probably depend on what happens with Robin Lehner’s status. If Lehner is healthy, he is still pretty good and capable of leading Vegas on a run. If he is not, they could be looking at Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson. That is not an ideal situation for a team that expects to compete for a championship this season and is currently on the playoff bubble.
Spot I want to see just for fun: St. Louis Blues
Ville Husso should be the guy in their net right now based on the way he has played this season. He has been significantly better than Jordan Binnington, who is in the first year of a massive long-term contract extension. But how comfortable are the Blues with Husso being their goalie in the playoffs, and how much faith do they have in Binnington who has been bad so far this season and has had some postseason meltdowns the past few years? They are probably not in the market for a goalie or in the position to add one, but it probably would not hurt if we are being objective here.
NHL Trade Deadline prediction
Georgiev stays in New York because there is really no need to trade him unless you get an offer you can not refuse. But why would anybody make you that offer now given the way he has played this season?
Varlamov could be an option for somebody, but he still has one more year left on his deal and it is really a stretch to think the Islanders could bounce back next season with a fresh start and a season that is not messed up like their season was early in the year? He and Ilya Sorokin can still be an elite goalie duo. Varlamov also has a lot of say in where he goes with a no-trade clause.
Korpisalo has shown flashes of being a good goalie in the past, but he has a sub-.900 save percentage the past two seasons and is all the way down at .883 so far this season. As bad as things like for teams like the Oilers and Maple Leafs in net right now, is that really an upgrade? Plus, Edmonton and Toronto seem destined to make additions elsewhere their lineups. If Edmonton even makes an upgrade. The goalie market is simply not very strong.