COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Blue Jackets front office has kept busy in anticipation for Friday’s NHL deadline. Among the team’s moves was a goalie swap with a West coast contenders.
Columbus has traded goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov to the Los Angeles Kings for goalie Jonathan Quick, a conditional 2023 first round pick, and a 2024 third round pick.
“Both [Korpisalo and Gavrikov] are pending unrestricted free agents and where we are in our process and the season right now we felt that it was a necessary move for our future,” CBJ general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Wednesday.
Kekalainen said the Blue Jackets ‘tried for months’ to sign Gavrikov to a new contract but the organization couldn’t come to an agreement with the defenseman.
The Columbus Blue Jackets also traded left winger Gustav Nyquist to the Minnesota Wild for a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
Whether or not Quick actually comes to Columbus remains to be seen with Friday’s trade deadline approaching.
“We have the utmost respect for [Quick] and his career and his accomplishments, so we’re gonna try to do the right thing.” Kekalainen said. “Come that time on Friday whether he is a Blue Jacket or not, we’ll make that decision.”
Quick, 37, spent nearly 15 full seasons with Los Angeles in which he cemented himself as one of the top American goaltenders of all time. Quick guided the Kings to the franchise’s two Stanley Cup titles in 2012 and 2014, including winning the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff MVP in 2012.
The three-time NHL All-Star was also part of two United States Olympic teams in 2010 and 2014. After earning a silver medal at the Vancouver games in 2010, Quick started for the US in Sochi where the Americans finished fourth.
A veteran of more than 700 NHL games, Quick has started 27 games this season for a Kings team that has the joint most points in the Western Conference. His record this season is 11-13 with a 3.50 goals against average and an 87.6 save percentage.
Korpisalo leaves the Jackets after more than a decade since he was drafted by the franchise in 2012. The 28-year-old from Finland earned a 2020 All-Star appearance while in Columbus and had his most memorable performance for the Jackets in the 2020 playoffs when he set a modern NHL record and made 85 saves in a quadruple overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Gavrikov was drafted by Columbus in 2015 and played over 200 games in defense for the franchise. The Olympic gold medalist from Russia along with Korpisalo will try to help the Kings secure a Stanley Cup playoff spot in a tightly contested Pacific Division.
The Blue Jackets sit in last-place in the Metropolitan Division with 21 games remaining. Its next game will be Friday at home against the Seattle Kraken.