May 24, 2013, 2:11 PM EDT
The Columbus Blue Jackets have addressed their goaltending situation for 2013-14, though it’s not in the manner many were expecting.
With the Sergei Bobrovsky negotiations at a standstill, the Jackets inked journeyman Curtis McElhinney to a one-year, one-way deal.
“Curtis is a solid pro who was one of the best goaltenders in the American Hockey League this past season” Jackets GM Jarmo Kekelainen said in a release. “He is a veteran goaltender with NHL experience and we believe he’s earned the opportunity to be a part of our team in 2013-14.”
McElhinney, 30, spent last year with Columbus’ AHL affiliate in Springfield, posting a 29-16-3 record with a 2.32 GAA and .923 save percentage — and a franchise-record nine shutouts.
He spent time with the Calgary, Anaheim, Ottawa and Phoenix organizations before joining Columbus, and has appeared in 69 career NHL contests.
That all but ensures he’ll be the BJ’s backup next season, a role that was filled by Steve Mason last season (until he was shipped to Philadelphia at the deadline), then Michael Leighton (who didn’t play a single game).
The move also comes on the same day when a report surfaced, claiming that KHL club SKA Saint Petersburg was preparing to make a big money offer for Bobrovsky’s services.
(Image courtesy Springfield Falcons)
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