It’s been just under a month since reports came out that Mikko Koskinen would be heading to Switzerland for the 2022-23 season, but the news became official as HC Lugano announced the deal via their social media earlier today.
✍️ Definita l’identità del quinto straniero dopo Arcobello, Carr, Josephs e Kaski.
— Hockey Club Lugano (@OfficialHCL) June 13, 2022
Mikko Koskinen, who was scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in July, has officially signed a two-year contract with Switzerland’s HC Lugano for the upcoming season rather than trying to find another NHL gig for 2022-23.
If you remember, Koskinen originally joined the Oilers on a one-year $2.5 million contract for the 2018-19 season after spending five successful campaigns in the KHL. Shortly after his arrival, however, Peter Chiarelli signed the big Finn to a three-year $13.5 million extension only three months into his first season with the team, a move that puzzled many fans and pundits alike. In the three years since that extension, Koskinen struggled to maintain consistency when his workload got too heavy as it became clear that he was at his best when sharing the workload with someone else. Yet, despite the sky-high expectations, Koskinen was a good soldier for the Oilers and was often — at least, in my opinion — blamed for the struggles of a team that wasn’t exactly shooting the lights out in front of him.
This past year, Kostco posted a 27-12-4 record with a 3.10 goals-against average and .903 save percentage over 45 regular season games played before clearing the way for Mike Smith’s return later in the year. Down the stretch, Koskinen played a much more consistent game between the pipes and was a big part of getting the Oilers back into the playoff picture after the team stumbled mightily in December and January. While Koskinen didn’t get any starts in the playoffs, he did make three relief appearances during the Oilers’ run to the Western Conference final this spring, and based on the way he performed, some of us wondered why he wasn’t given a bigger chance to contribute. Either way, this new deal means we’ve reached the end of an era in net for the Oilers, and while it wasn’t always a perfect relationship, I want to wish Koskinen all of the best in the next stage of his journey.
In 164 games played with the Oilers, the 33-year-old Koskinen posted an 83-59-13 record to go along with a .907 save percentage and a 2.98 GAA. Koskinen was originally selected 31st overall in the second round by the New York Islanders at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft but made just four appearances with New York before returning to Europe in November of 2011.
MIKKO KOSKINEN’S NHL CAREER