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Bobrovsky says choosing Columbus over KHL wasn’t easy

Sep 10, 2013, 11:44 PM EDT

bobrovskygetty Getty Images

While other big-name Russian players haven’t switched to the KHL just yet after Ilya Kovalchuk’s surprising exodus, plenty admit that it made an impact. Sergei Bobrovsky admitted to Sportsnet on Tuesday that he didn’t easily choose the Columbus Blue Jackets over his hometown league.

“It was a very tough decision,” Bobrovsky said. “The decision that I made was what I think was right for my career moving forward.

“I just focus on myself, on my career, what will be the best way to grow up and to develop myself.”

The 24-year-old goalie said that Kovalchuk’s departure was both surprising and unsurprising, calling St. Petersburg “one of the best, (most) beautiful cities in the world” and a great place to play hockey.

“Bob” believes that the KHL possesses the assets and ability to someday become the NHL’s equal, but luckily for the Blue Jackets, it’s clear he decided it was best to stay in North America. For now, anyway.

  1. amityvillefun - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:25 AM


  2. einjzmolf - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Because that’s exactly what your management wants to hear..

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:45 AM

      Imagine the horror of honest, thoughtful responses from players

      • canadianguest - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:56 AM

        Wow, and um, wow, I can’t believe he said that.

  3. 950003cups - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    Well, Kovalchuk didn’t exactly drop hints he was leaving. Because of the way the Kovalchuk thing went down, owners and GM’s (off the record) made it clear that they will fight to block any and all moves by the KHL to pillage players. Kovalchuk was lucky to have a guy like Lamoriello who lets you play here only if you want to. The new owners made a small comment that they would have still taken the team with or without Kovalchuk. To a guy who has $2.5 Billion, $77 Million is not a deterrent.

    I hope the next GM who has this issue stops it along with the power of the NHL. it’s very bad for the league.

    Anything can happen once you go to a league without guaranteed contracts. If your play tails off, it’s over for you.

    • barkar942 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Kovy didn’t drop hints to Lou. Lou and Mr V. went to Kovy and said we can’t sell the team with you and your huge contract here. We left the side door unlocked on your contract. Time for you to use the door. Enjoy going home, komrade!
      Your new billionaire owners are not here to lose money in the long haul, they want an investment that will increase in value, not decrease. Future value of this team with Kovy was only down.

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    I’m surprised that people are surprised ha. You have a chance to make more money and live closer to family and friends. How wouldn’t that be hard to turn down?

  5. girouxed - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Honesty is a virtue.

  6. adlent - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Maybe I remember it wrong, but wasn’t Bob going to be a restricted free agent? He wouldn’t have exactly pulled a Kovalchuk if he had left. He turned down potentially more money to stay in the NHL. Good for him. Don’t blame him or feel bad that he said it wasn’t an easy decision.

  7. sonvar - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    I’m Glad Bob decided to stay with the CBJ but I can certainly understand the KHL appeal for him. They were offering more money than any NHL team could reasonably offer especially with the reduced cap, it’s in his home country, and it would give him better exposure for the Olympics for team Russia.

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