🎶 Hey Miko
Well, you come and give without taking
But the Oilers sent you away
Well I helped the oilers and stopped the grate from shaking
But we don’t need you today
Ahem… sorry about that. I don’t know what happened to me there.
When Mikko Koskinen signed with the Edmonton Oilers in 2018, the team needed help at the net and Koskinen had played some good overseas hockey in the KHL.
He advanced that first season with a 25-21-6 record, 906 savings and 2.93 GAA. Nothing spectacular, but he was strong at the net against the Oilers who finished second after last in the Pacific division.
When the 2019-20 season came around, Koskinen’s match was strong. He had a string of great games early in the year, but as the calendar year turned, cracks were starting to appear. He had five games extended between December 21 and January 11 which saw him record a save ratio of 0.867, before missing 20 days due to injury.
But on January 21, Peter Chiarelli saw enough: He signed Koskinin to a three-year, $4.5 million deal. He was dismissed the next day.
His final season in Edmonton this year was about what to expect from Koskinen. It’s an above average backup, but a bad start. There were times when Mike Smith would fall due to injury and Koskinen had to step in, but the times he was able to work successfully for longer periods were almost non-existent.
However, when it was called up for short periods, or as a backup, there wasn’t much wrong with Miku. Sure, his gauntlet side was a problem and you want to see more of those tougher saves, but truth be told, he was a decent goalkeeper.
Before the Oilers’ playoff season ended, news had already leaked that Koskinen was striking a long-term deal to play in the Swiss league and one must wonder if he was misreading the NHL market. Although we don’t know the terms of his overseas deal, the NHL goalkeeper market is now struggling with several teams that would have used his services.
Perhaps this frenzied market was sometimes too hard on Miku.
Zach Ling is the news director and columnist for the Nation Network. He can be followed on Twitter at Tweet embedor via email at [email protected]
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