Elvis is still in the building.
Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins signed a two-year extension on Thursday afternoon. Contract details were first reported by Aaron Portzline of The Athletic. Merzlikins was slated to be a restricted free agent at season's end.
Elvis Merzlikins deal with #CBJ will pay him $3 million in 2020-21 and $5 million 2021-22. AAV of $4M.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) April 23, 2020
Hell be an unrestricted free agent when this deal expires. Would have been a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.
The deal comes less than a week after Joonas Korpisalo signed a two-year extension, meaning the Blue Jackets have their future tandem signed through 2021-22.
After a less-than-ideal start, Merzlikins went into the NHL's pause with a 13-9-8 record, 2.35 GAA and .923 save percentage. His five shutouts are tied for second among all NHL goaltenders, while his goals-against average and save percentage (minimum 20 games played) rank fifth.
Said Jarmo Kekalainen:
"We've believed for several years that Elvis Merzlikins was the best goaltender outside the NHL while he was playing in Switzerland and this year he has shown that he has the ability and drive to be a very good goaltender in this league. He is quick, athletic and driven to succeed and we are excited to see what the future holds for Elvis and our hockey club."