While a verbal agreement to join HC Lugano in the National League (NL) out of Switzerland for the 2022-23 season doesn’t preclude goaltender Mikko Koskinen from re-signing with the Edmonton Oilers or heading to another NHL team as a free agent, it does suggest Koskinen is considering the fact he might not get the kind of UFA deal he wants or is ready to leave the NHL again.
After making solid money for four seasons as a backup in Edmonton, — he was signed by former general manager Peter Chiarelli to a three-year, $13.5 million extension — the Oilers aren’t likely to bring Koskinen back. They could do worse if a new deal is affordable, but with Stuart Skinner waiting in the wings and the Oilers likely locked to Mike Smith for at least one more season, Koskinen’s time in Edmonton was coming to a close.
Mikko Koskinen Edmonton Oilers Upper Deck
Often a whipping boy for fans because of his inconsistencies, the reality is, that he was never really a starting NHL goaltender but was often thrust into a starting role. Overpaid for what he could offer, Koskinen became known as a goalie who was prone to bad lapses and weak goals, especially if he was overplayed. If he’s headed to Switzerland, that won’t be a problem.
Koskinen was drafted by the New York Islanders in the second round of the 2009 draft. He returned to Finland in 2011-12 and played after he signed with SKA ST. Petersburg of the KHL. He was brought in by the Oilers and played better than a number of fans gave him credit for, but he wasn’t destined to be a long-term solution for the team. If he’s leaving, he has a chance to leave on a high note as the Oilers and Flames are tied 1-1 in their best-of-seven series.
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