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Bobrovsky confirms contract talks with both Jackets and KHL club

Jun 7, 2013, 11:49 AM EDT

Sergei Bobrovsky Getty Images

Is Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky really thinking of leaving the NHL for the KHL, or is his flirtation with SKA St. Petersburg just a negotiation tactic?

That’s the question Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has to be asking himself as contract talks with the Vezina Trophy finalist struggle along.

Bobrovsky has confirmed to Russia’s Sport-Express that he’s talking to both the Blue Jackets and SKA, but he wasn’t willing to share anything more.

The 24-year-old restricted free agent played for SKA during the lockout, posting an impressive 18-3-2 record with a .932 save percentage, and there’s apparently “big money on the table” for him if he’s willing to go back.

It seems extremely unlikely the Blue Jackets would match the amount of money that SKA is rumored to be offering (upwards of $8 million annually), but the KHL is not the best league in the world. That honor belongs to the NHL.

It’s possible this poker game goes on for a while, as we’ve seen in the past with star RFAs.

  1. hockey412 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    They’re not the best league in the world, no. But with the new CBA, lower caps and tighter restrictions, it will be interesting to see how many/who the NHL loses. If they lose any great talents, that’s on the NHL…seems a lot of people were trying to get the owners to remember that they are not the only gig in the world during the last lockout.

  2. hockeyflow33 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Wasn’t he being offered $10m per year a few days ago?

  3. jacketsfan7 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    I thought so

  4. travishenryskid - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    These Russians have some nice leverage.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      On paper, sure. Then these guys go and play there and it’s a different story.

  5. qauzaq - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    I just don’t see the blue jackets letting bob walk. I feel like they will pay almost anything to keep him. He really did wonders for them.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      He’s clearly the key to their potential turnaround, but that (and his ridiculous play this season) makes him extremely expensive. In a world where Mike Smith is asking for $7 mil annually, what will a much younger goalie, with a higher ceiling, command? Especially when the Russians are happy to poach as many of their countrymen as possible. It seems that it may have been a mistake to not negotiate a new deal during the season, bc Bob’s pricetag will just keep rising. Especially when you consider an international bidding war and a potential Vezina trophy thrown in as leverage. I think there’s a real possibility they lose him, and that would certainly taint Kekalainens rebuild.

  6. jacketsfan7 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    I’d like to see him signed long-term…with Columbus , not some stupid ass Russian team , he’s the only reason we did decent this season , I’d like to see Allen York come up too to play back up , I thought he played well too 2 years ago

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