May 23, 2013, 9:51 AM EDT
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky‘s entry-level contract will expire this summer and he’s due for a big raise after posting a 2.00 GAA and .932 save percentage in 38 games in 2013.
Bobrovsky’s efforts vaulted the Blue Jackets into contention for a playoff spot and earned him a Vezina Trophy nomination. Columbus needs Bobrovsky and they will almost certainly enter the 2013-14 campaign with him, but for now the negotiations seem to be going nowhere fast.
“We’ve talked. We’ve exchanged ideas,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “But we haven’t made any progress, really. It’s been pretty quiet for a while now.”
If the two sides don’t agree to terms before July 5, then Bobrovsky can become a restricted free agent and accept offer sheets. Those aren’t common, but the Philadelphia Flyers made waves last summer by signing defenseman Shea Weber to one.
Nashville ultimately exercised its right to match the contract, as the Blue Jackets would likely do if a competitor attempted to sign Bobrovsky.
“That’s something we can’t control,” Kekalainen said. “It’s obvious what we’re going to do if it goes that far. We have great ownership; committed ownership. We would match any offer there might be, but I’m optimistic we won’t get to that point.”
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