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Should the Blackhawks target Mikko Koskinen?

Mikko Koskinen - Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames
Mikko Koskinen - Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames / Derek Leung/GettyImages
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The Oilers are an unpredictable organization as we’ve seen in previous seasons. The Blackhawks could pounce on a pending UFA. 

The amount of upcoming free agents they have leaves many questions unanswered. The player this article will focus on today is their pending UFA Mikko Koskinen who has been running a tandem with Mike Smith lately, and has solidified himself as a trustworthy backup goaltender. When he doesn’t play the majority of games for the Oilers and gets the rest he needs he can actually play quite solid in net, but with the drama that occurred between Koskinen and Dave Tippett before their former head coach was let go, is there any chance he re-signs in Edmonton?

I’d lean towards no, lots of players leave the Oilers because of how hard some of the fans and media are on them for every little mistake they make, so a new team and a fresh start makes the most sense for Koskinen. The Blackhawks have Delia and Lankinen who are both about ready to be NHL starters, but could benefit from having Koskinen in tandem with them. Assuming the Blackhawks go this route, here’s a little breakdown. 

Koskinen Stats & Breakdown

2021-22 Stats:

Record: 25-12-4

GAA: 3.12

SV%: .901

Physical 

Age: 33

Height: 6’7

Weight: 202 Pounds

Next Contract & Final Thought

Koskinen won’t be getting a raise on his next deal. My personal opinion stands that he was overpaid to begin with, and remains as a backup goalie with too much money. With that being said, he’s a veteran goalie that could be valuable at a lesser deal. A 2-3 year contract worth between $1.5-2.25M AAV is ideal for him. Yes, he’s going to ask for more and a team might give it to him. But, if the Blackhawks can snag him for that price and run him with a younger talent like Lankinen, their issues in net could be solved. 

He won’t be the best goalie in the NHL, but I’ve always viewed a young goalie paired with a veteran goalie as the most ideal tandem in the league. Take for example Vasilevskiy and Elliott right now in Tampa Bay. Vasilevskiy is a world class tender but when he’s having off nights or needs a rest, Elliott has proven he can step in and be as trustworthy in goal. 

This same idea could happen with Koskinen and Lankinen, as we’ve seen stretches where Lankinen has been solid, and stretches where he’s been really off his game. In those stretches, Koskinen comes in and plays a few games allowing Lankinen to rest and re-focus. This could really help the team next season, assuming Koskinen can uphold his solid play as a backup goaltender.

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