NHL Rumors: Latest on Potential Joonas Korpisalo Trade, Islanders' Offseason

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIAugust 1, 2021

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo is seen during an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, April 12, 2021. The Blackhawks won 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
Paul Vernon/Associated Press

It's been an eventful week around the NHL. There have been trades and big free-agent signings, all of which came shortly after the 2021 NHL entry draft and the Seattle Kraken expansion draft the previous week. With all of this movement, many of the league's 32 teams look a bit different.

However, some teams still have work to do. Many of the top names are no longer on the free-agent market, but there are some noteworthy players who remain unsigned. And with the 2021-22 campaign not set to get underway until Oct. 12, substantial trades remain a possibility.

With plenty of the offseason remaining, here's some of the latest buzz from around the NHL.


Could Oilers Deal for Korpisalo?

If the Edmonton Oilers are going to try to trade for Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, then it's likely going to take a substantial package to land him. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the Oilers haven't been trying to make something work.

During a recent episode of DFO Rundown, Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff discussed what he's heard about Edmonton's search for goaltending help. And it appears that has led the Oilers to talks with the Blue Jackets.

"I do think they have continued to work the phones on the goaltending front," Seravalli said on the podcast (h/t Cam Lewis of Oilersnation). "The team that they've been in touch with is the Columbus Blue Jackets about Joonas Korpisalo."

Seravalli added that Columbus is going to want a first-round draft pick in exchange for Korpisalo, which is something that Edmonton may only consider if the Blue Jackets also take goaltender Mikko Koskinen. The Oilers may also have to part with defenseman Dmitri Samorukov, though, per Seravalli.

There's also a chance that none of this materializes because the sides could be too far apart to make a trade. TSN's Ryan Rishaug tweeted that "Korpisalo for Koskinen and a high pick or prospect is not something [Edmonton] is considering at the moment."

Whether Korpisalo stays in Columbus, gets traded to Edmonton or goes elsewhere, he will be looking to have a bounce-back showing in 2021-22. He had an .894 save percentage and a 3.3 goals-against average in 33 games last season.

It makes sense that the Blue Jackets may want to trade Korpisalo, with Elvis Merzlikins likely to be their starting goaltender for the long term.


Why Have Islanders Been So Quiet This Offseason?

Many teams have signed or traded for players (or both) this offseason, yet the New York Islanders haven't made much noise at all. Not only have they not brought in any new players, but there haven't been any announcements regarding them re-signing their own free agents.

That doesn't mean the Isles aren't hard at work, though. It appears that general manager Lou Lamoriello and the front office are just staying quiet while doing so, according to The Athletic's Arthur Staple

"The prevailing wisdom from a couple of league sources as to why Lamoriello has chosen this path of ultra-secrecy is this: Lamoriello does not want anyone in the league to know where the Islanders are with their salary-cap space right now," Staple wrote. "So he's not announcing any deals that are already agreed upon or even filing them with the league, which would quickly leak them out to the world."

Staple believes it's likely that the Islanders have agreed to re-sign forwards Zach Parise and Kyle Palmieri and center Casey Cizikas, as well as potentially bringing back veteran center Travis Zajac. Yet nothing has been announced.

Who else might return to the Islanders? Are they targeting any other available free agents? Could there be any trades in the work? Those questions all remain mysteries by design, and it's unclear at what point in the offseason we will get the answers.

Still, it seems the Islanders are hard at work behind the scenes. And maybe they will soon be at a point when their moves become public knowledge.