Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson has trumpeted "a different look in goal" next season; on Friday before the NHL Draft, the Blue Jackets made their move — acquiring Sergei Bobrovsky from the Philadelphia Flyers, as first reported by TSN's Darren Dreger.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports that three draft picks are going to Flyers, including the No. 45 overall pick in this year's second round and one pick in the 2013 Draft.
Bobrovsky followed a breakout season in 2009-10 (28-13-8, 2.59 GAA) with an inconsistent 2011-12 campaign backing up Ilya Bryzgalov (14-10-2 in 29 games, 3.02 GAA) that include a start in the Winter Classic. He'll be 24 in September, and he's signed through next season with a $1.75 million cap hit, after which he's an RFA.
Best of all, his name isn't "Steve Mason."
From Bill Meltzer at HockeyBuzz (annoying auto-play ad alert):
There is a shrinking faction of people who believe that Bobrovsky has the potential to be a star goaltender in the NHL. Goaltenders often develop later than position players and Bobrovsky is still just 23 years old (he'll turn 24 during training camp).
… Although I would put Bobrovsky somewhere in the middle of the pack of the young goalies who have already played in the NHL, I don't think his maximum potential is more than a shade higher than average.
He's a competitive guy that was never going to get another shot in Philadelphia to be the starter. The Blue Jackets' options were either swing for the fences with a big name veteran or bring in a goalie in this age range.
The great thing about Bob is that he's had considerably more experience than, say, Jonathan Bernier as an NHL goalie. You at least know what you've got here, and you're getting him for more than a few years as an RFA next summer if things work out.
Howson's getting killed already for giving up three picks for what amounts to an investment in a backup or platoon goalie. It's called the marketplace -- have we forgotten the return for Anders Lindback already?
Now, when does Marty Biron sign with the Flyers?