Jettisoned by the Philadelphia Flyers just under a year ago, Sergei Bobrovsky completed his campaign to make them instantly regret it on Saturday night when he finalized his transformation from "expendable goaltender" to "Russian Henrik Lundqvist", edging the New York Rangers' netminder for the 2013 Vezina trophy and the unofficial award for hockey's best-dressed goaltender.
Look at that stud and his bowtie. Sharp.
Bobrovsky's first-career Vezina is now his most notable achievement, topping his previous claim to fame: the way Sportscentre's Jay Onrait shouts his name like a police chief taking his loose-cannon detective to task for reckless crime-busting. "Bobrovsky! You're off the case!" It's one of Onrait's best running bits, and if you've not had the chance to experience it (or even if you have), there's never been a more appropriate time for this "best of" compilation:
I love Nick Foligno getting into it at the end.
As for Bobrovsky's future, while this is a proud moment for the Blue Jackets' franchise, it's also something of a headache for them. Bobrovsky isn't just a goaltender in need of a new contract this summer anymore. Now he's a Vezina winner in need of a new contract. From the Columbus Dispatch:
Next is a contract.
“We’ll look at all the different options — short-term, long-term, arbitration … who knows?” Davidson said. “We think we’ll get him signed.”
Paul Theofanous, Bobrovsky’s agent, is due to visit Columbus later this week. He has a great deal of leverage with a client who is a restricted free agent, who may well get a fat offer sheet from another NHL team — or a fatter offer from a team in Russia’s Continental Hockey League.
“I’m sure it’s all going to work out,” Bobrovsky said on a conference call, “(but) now is the time to celebrate.”
Here's hoping Columbus can get it done. We'd hate to see Bobrovsky go to Russia, since it would likely mean the end of a great running gag.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney