This week, news came out of Columbus that Sergei Bobrovsky would not be travelling with the team for their game against the Nashville Predators.
The announcement was thinly veiled and essentially suggested there was a team issued suspension made. This season has been a bit of a cluster for the Blue Jackets as they are potentially losing their two best players. Personally I think there is more of a possibility of Artemi Panarin re-signing than there is that Bobrovsky does. It became more of a story when they started backup Korpisalo over their Vezina winning goaltender on opening night.
The question that is being posed now is, what do the Blue Jackets do with their star goalie? Do they offer him a contract extension, expect him to turn it down and then move on? It would be a waste to lose a serious asset like Bobrovsky, so should they look into trading him? But also being in a playoff spot makes that decision even more difficult. The jackets are firm in their belief that Bob is their guy and they won’t be trading him, but GM Kekalainen was oddly quiet when asked if they have asked Bob to waive his no-move clause.
So what do they do with Bob? Not saying they are on the same level, but Bobrovsky can walk this summer and it suddenly becomes another John Tavares situation. The Jackets should start looking into what teams may be interested in the services of the star goalie. I’ll look at two teams in each conference that could use Bob and help them out.
So let’s look at teams that could use him. An obvious choice would be his first team, the Flyers. They are now on their 7th goalie to start for them this year, so why not make it 8? Bob might be more inclined to sign there and their team is on the fringe of being a contender but a consistent goalie would help. I think in any deal, the Jackets will need a good goalie prospect being sent back or a high draft pick (most likely a first) the Flyers have a few, but Hart is most likely untouchable.
The other team that makes sense is the Carolina Hurricanes, a team that is known as the goalie graveyard, claiming the likes of promising goalies Eddie Lack, Scott Darling, and now Petr Mrazek. The goalie depth in Carolina is not great as Alex Nedeljkovic and Callum Booth are both B level prospects. Mrazek and a pick could go back the other way, but it would be a good pick. But I don’t know if Bobrovsky would re-sign with Carolina, but I’ve been wrong before
Another team that would go for him would be the St.Louis Blues, this is a team marred by the Jake Allen curse, a goalie who has such a high ceiling and he’s so inconsistent. Trading for Bob would give them stability in net and they could actually hold onto leads and not underperform like they have. They have plenty of very good goalie prospects so they could definitely make a deal.
Hear me out on this one…. another team poised to make a deal for Bobrovsky could be the Oilers, Cam Talbot has been getting scorched by the Oilers defence for the last two seasons, could Bobrovsky get the job done being the elite goaltender he is? Cam Talbot would get a fresh start in Columbus and I think he would be instantly successful there as they have much more stability on the back end. Talbot and a pick could get you a rental Bob, but does he sign in Edmonton? That would be too good to be true for GM Peter Chiarelli and probably save his job for a few more months.
Whatever happens with Bobrovsky, I don’t think it ends with him staying in Columbus. Buckle up Jackets fans, this one isn’t going to be easy.
Photo Credit: Nick Wass, The Associated Press
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