Sergei Bobrovsky doesn’t seem inclined to stay with the Columbus Blue Jackets beyond this season, and it’s possible he may be shown the door before the trade deadline.
Both Artemi Panarin and Bobrovsky can become unrestricted free agents this summer, and neither player appears too anxious to sign an extension with the team.
During a Thursday evening TV hit on NHL Network, Elliotte Friedman was asked to share his latest sentiment on the situation.
The Insider had a particularly interesting notion on the Bobrovsky front.
“I think the thing about Bobrovsky in particular is I supported what Columbus did at the beginning of the year,” said Friedman. “Keep them both, and take a run. I think there are times in your development as an organization where you have to say, ‘We’re going for it.’ And I believe this was a year for Columbus. I supported them in that decision.
“Panarin, I think, has been relatively low maintenance. He’s got nine points in eight games, and he’s competing.
“But there is concern about Bobrovsky. He’s got the worst save percentage for anybody who has played his minutes in the league this year, and he’s got the second-worst goals-against average. And also he just looks unhappy.
“Bill and Dave know more about team and culture than I do and I will always concede that, but I think when you’re on a roster and you’re like that, it can really have an effect on a team. I think Bobrovsky at some point, he needs to get back to the level that we all know he can play at, if for his own financial future.
“But I think Columbus is looking at this and saying, ‘Do we have to consider the possibility that we have to move him for the sake of the room?’ I think that’s being discussed. And he has a no-move clause, but word around is that he has at least told Columbus that there are some teams he will consider moving to. I don’t know if that means an extension or just a rental, but I think Columbus has some idea of where Bobrovsky would be potentially willing to go if they could make a deal.”
Bobrovsky is on a four-year, $29.7 million contract that’ll expire after this season, and the veteran goaltender has had a no-move clause in each of the past three seasons.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly