5 goaltenders who could replace Arvid Soderblom next season

The Chicago Blackhawks have seen enough of Arvid Soderblom, and they need to find a viable replacement for him next season.

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks
Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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The Blue Jackets will listen to offers on Elvis Merzlikins 

When you look at Elvis Merzlikins’ numbers over the last two seasons, they are almost as cringe-worthy as Soderblom’s. An 0.889 save percentage and a 3.75 GAA are bad enough to turn away just about any general manager, and his age also wouldn’t be an ideal fit for the Blackhawks. 

Add in his $5.4 million AAV that includes a $6 million base salary next season in a contract that won’t expire until 2026-27, and you have a right to wonder why Merzlikins is even on this list. For starters, Columbus would be willing to give him away for little trade compensation, and it should surprise nobody that they, given their cap space, would be willing to retain half of the goaltender’s contract. 

This would make Merzlikins’ salary far more manageable for a team like Chicago, and like Ville Husso, the 29-year-old has enjoyed success in previous seasons. In 2019-20, Merzlikins finished fifth for the Calder, and he also placed fifth for the Vezina before he parlayed those numbers into another fine season in 2020-21. 

He hasn’t been the same goaltender since, but there was a time when Merzlikins was one of the hottest up-and-coming names in hockey. Merzlikins isn’t the first choice or anywhere near it, but he could be worth taking a flier on under the right circumstances. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference and Elite Prospects)