Panthers' Frank Vatrano got quite the haul for giving up his number to Sergei Bobrovsky

Panthers' Frank Vatrano (left) poses with teammate Sergei Bobrovsky (right) and the gifts he received from the Russian goaltender after giving up his number. (Instagram//@frank_vatrano)
Panthers' Frank Vatrano (left) poses with teammate Sergei Bobrovsky (right) and the gifts he received from the Russian goaltender after giving up his number. (Instagram//@frank_vatrano)

After signing a seven-year, $70-million contract with the Panthers in the summer, Sergei Bobrovsky’s tenure in Florida hasn’t gotten off to the greatest start.

The 31-year-old goaltender is currently sporting a record of 2-2-2 to go along with a dreadful 4.07 GAA and .872 SV%. To put those numbers into context, the worst of his seven seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets saw him post a 2.75 GAA and .908 SV%.

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However, things may change for Bobrovsky now that he’s repaid one of his new teammates for his kind gesture.

Despite the fact Frank Vatrano had worn No. 72 for his first four seasons in the NHL — including all of 2018-19 in Florida — he was willing to surrender the digits to Bobrovsky, who wore the number while with the Blue Jackets. On Monday, the 25-year-old shared a photo of himself with Bobrovsky and the gifts he received in exchange for the number.

When you see a list that includes a hamburger, a bottle of wine and a Rolex watch, it’s clear that one of those things is not like the others. Nevertheless, that’s a pretty solid haul considering that a young player giving up his number for an incoming two-time Vezina Trophy winner is pretty much a no-brainer.

Bobrovsky is the third player in franchise history to wear No. 72 after Vatrano and former rearguard Alex Petrovic. He wore No. 35 during his first two seasons in the NHL — both with the Philadelphia Flyers — before switching to No. 72 after being traded to Columbus in June of 2012. Vatrano has since switched to No. 77.

With the deal officially complete and the two sides satisfied, Bobrovsky can only hope that the hockey gods will be a little kinder to him going forward.

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