By Dmitry Chesnokov
Sergei Bobrovsky is the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy. His 2.00 GAA and .932 save percentage season nearly led the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for only the second time in team history. He may be the cover model for NHL 14.
Ah, yes: He’s a restricted free agent this summer. Translation: Sergei Bobrovsky is going to get paid.
The question is: Who’s paying him?
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen said the two sides haven’t made any progress on a new contract. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets will extend a qualifying offer to Bobrovsky by the end of June to retain his rights. After that, he would be open to an offer sheet from another NHL team.
But there’s another suitor.
Some time in April, SKA St. Petersburg decided to go after Bobrovsky. I was told the money they are willing to offer is very good.
SKA wanted to get Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov a couple of years ago. This time they want Bobrovsky.
They also know him well because he played for the club during the lockout. After the lockout was over, Bobrovsky mentioned in a number of interviews that he was following how SKA was doing in the KHL playoffs.
Bobrovsky was snubbed by the Russian national team and didn't make the roster. Signing with SKA would virtually guarantee he'll be in Sochi.
However, this option is by far not the most attractive to him. Bobrovsky wants to play in the NHL