On June 22, 2012, the Philadelphia Flyers traded Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
On June 15, 2013, exactly one week shy of the first anniversary of that unfortunate decision, Bobrovsky has won the NHL's Vezina trophy. According to the league's 30 General Managers, he was the league's best goalie in 2013.
The NHL explains Bobrovsky's worthiness thusly:
Bobrovsky (21-11-6, 2.00 goals-against average, .932 save percentage, four shutouts) backstopped Columbus' late-season surge that kept the club in contention for a playoff berth until the final moments of the season. The first-time Vezina finalist appeared in all but one of the Blue Jackets' franchise-record 12-game point streak (8-0-4) from Feb. 26 through Mar. 22 that spurred the club's move up the standings. He won eight of his last nine decisions from April 9-27, posting a 1.64 goals-against average and .945 save percentage in that span. Bobrovsky ranked second among NHL goaltenders in save percentage and sixth in goals-against average.
Meanwhile, the Flyers acquired Steve Mason in a trade and are poised to buy out Ilya Bryzgalov.
Here's how the voting shook out:
1. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ 110 (17-8-1)
2. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 55 (3-12-4)
3. Antti Niemi, S.J. 46 (6-4-4)
4. Craig Anderson, OTT 22 (3-1-4)
5. Tuukka Rask, BOS 12 (0-3-3)
6. Jimmy Howard, DET 9 (0-0-9)
7. Ray Emery, CHI 6 (1-0-1)
8. Corey Crawford, CHI 5 (0-1-2)
9. Jonas Hiller, ANA 3 (0-1-0)
10. Niklas Backstrom, MIN 1 (0-0-1)
As you can see, it wasn't all that close. Bobrovsky received the majority of first-place votes, and twice as many votes overall as runner-up Henrik Lundqvist.
Meanwhile, further down the ballot, you did not read that wrong: Ray Emery received a first-place vote. Let's just assume that was Paul Holmgren's way of abstaining.
By the way: while accepting his trophy with the help of his translator, Bobrovsky was also given the Best-Dressed Joffrey Lannister Lookalike Award.
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