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Bobrovsky contract talks haven’t progressed

May 23, 2013, 9:51 AM EST

Sergei Bobrovsky AP

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.”

  1. jpelle82 - May 23, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    holmgren is already drafting his offer sheet. smart move by bob…the blue jackets dragged their feet in getting an extension and the price just kept going up the better he played. now he has their nuts in a vise…rookie gm is feeling the pressure.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Any goalie who willingly signs with Flyers will tank their career.

  2. pizzano7416 - May 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    I know I’m dreaming here but it would be awesome if the Pens somehow rid themselves of MAFs contract, let Vokoun walk and sign this guy.. Could you imagine the Pens with a 25 year old backstop who played the best hockey of his young career this year. The sky is the limit for him. Just imagine him on the Pens.. Offfaaaa!!

    Regardless I really hope the Pens can get rid of MAF, and get a new backstop for next year. There are a lot of G options this offseason.. Smith from PHX and Halak from the Blues also top my list. I really like Halak, guy was amazing in the playoffs couple years ago and is only 31.. Word is he is going to be available, because the blues have a real log jam in net. I would love 25 year old Bobrovsky, but that’s dreaming, Halak on the other hand is a very interesting and rel opportunity to upgrade the G position. Either way the Wizard Shero needs to do something, MAF SUCKS, and I’m just so tired of him. Vokoun has been great but he’s 36. Maybe that young rook they signed Hartzell could be the real deal Holyfield, I read a lot about him, and he def looks promising.

    • pizzano7416 - May 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Halak in only 28 not 31, Smith from PHX is 31… This makes Halak even more attractive.. Combine his age and the fact that the Blues def want to unload him, with the fact his had the best 2 years of his career the last 2 years, plus how great he was in the playoffs a couple years ago with the Habs. All these factors combined makes him the best option for the Pens. I realize I might be reaching here but I do not want MAF back at any cost.. I just hope this years playoffs will be the icing on the cake for Mario and Shero and they will cut there losses and go in another direction.

    • hazlydose - May 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      I would love that, but if there’s one place you don’t want to go for broke to try and make a drastic move its at goaltender. If it fails we are left with a 37 year old vokoun to carry the load and hartzell/zatkoff/theissen at backup.

  3. tmoore4075 - May 23, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    If the Blue Jackets can’t get this done then there was no reason to fire Howson. JD and Kekalainen were supposed to make this team better and to let this guy walk after this season isn’t a way to do that.

  4. pizzano7416 - May 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Here is a link to the young goalie the Pens signed Hartznell if anyone is interested. He was a dominant force and hands down the best goalie in all D-1 college Hockey last year, took his team to the finals but lost to Yale. Regardless kid looks very very promising. In his 4 year college career he posted a 1.96 GAA and a .924 save %. And a 58-27-17 record. He’s a very big kid 6’4, I really like taller backstops. I hope the Pens lock this kid up after his 1 year deal expires. Shero must see something in him, they gave him just shy of a million on his 1 year deal. Could this be the Pens future in net..

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=665784

    Enjoy :)

    • jpelle82 - May 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      he was signed for a 1 year tender (this current season) as a free agent. i think about 90% of the signing was to keep him away from philly. worth reading below.

      http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2013/4/14/4225100/eric-hartzell-contract-penguins-flyers

      the other 10% was probably a back-up to a back-up plan. they signed him right before fleury was supposed to have his kid. i think he was on the bench for one game when that happened and then i’m pretty sure he didnt play a single game with Wilkes Barre either. he’s 23, this past season was his best and really was kinda average before that, he was undrafted, has been in some rookie camps before and has never made the roster anywhere. not sure if i would call him the future in net, in fact i doubt he will be a penguin next year in any form or facet. they kinda snagged him up while he was hot, and the pens had cash to burn.

  5. valoisvipers - May 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    So, one great season and the Blue Jackets should open up the vault for him and let him take as much as he wants.
    Not so fast here, how many times have we seen a goalie have a great year and get that huge payday. Then next thing you know you are stuck long term with an overpaid underachiever. MAF, Price, Luongo, Bryzgalov and you couldn’t talk about this without mentioning RDP.

  6. phillyphanatic77 - May 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I know Bob had an unbelievable season and played at a level that he never showed in Philadelphia, but he has yet to produce over a full NHL season. His rookie season in Philly he was close to excellent for half a season, then completely fell apart. His second season, although it was a reduced workload, he was solid to start and disastrous at the end. Then this year he was absolutely lights out for 38 games. There’s a little bit of a trend there. He’s used to the shorter Russian season. I’m not saying he’s not gonna be the Blue Jackets franchise netminder, or an All-Star, but if they want to be a playoff team outside of a lockout shortened season they have to get a legitimate backup, just in case (not Leighton). And I think his half-season success may be a contributing factor to slow contract talks. What do you offer a guy that’s never had consistent success over a full NHL season? If he wins the Vezina does he get Quick-type money?

  7. sonvar - May 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Jackets have already been bitten once by giving a big contract after one year of good performance which was Mason. While I think and hope Bob is a different story my guess is that Bobs agent is waiting to see if he wins the Vezina before negotiating further. I just hope a reasonable deal for Bob and the Jackets can be reached before he starts getting offers from other teams.

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