Sergei Bobrovsky

Columbus, Bobrovsky gaining no traction in contract talks


The waiting game between the Blue Jackets and Sergei Bobrovsky continues.

And, if a recent article from the Columbus Dispatch is accurate, it could continue some more.

The Dispatch reports there’s been zero traction gained between Bobrovsky and Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on contract talks, adding there may not be much more gained by July 5.

From the Dispatch’s Michael Arace:

Negotiations between Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and Bobrovsky’s agent, Paul Theofanous, have not gained traction. There is good reason for this: Theofanous wants to wait, and it behooves him to do so.

Bobrovsky will be worth more if he wins the Vezina and/or receives an offer sheet from another team and/or receives an offer from SKA St. Petersburg — which might be offering something in the range of $10 million annually.

Bobrovsky is just 24 years old and coming out of his first contract, but he is set up to get a third-contract payday. All he has to do is sit tight past July 5 and the market will do the rest.

Arace also notes that Kekalainen is on record saying he’ll match any offer sheet made to his goalie.

Translation: If Bobrovsky plays in North America next year, it’ll be in Columbus.

The real question is how much the Blue Jackets are willing to spend. They’re currently $19 million under next year’s $64.3 million cap with 16 players signed, but do have a few decisions to make (most notably with RFA forward Artem Anisimov and veteran UFAs Vinny Prospal and Adrian Aucoin).

In terms of comparables, Bobrovsky could be looking a deal similar to what Jaroslav Halak got in St. Louis in 2010.

Then a 25-year-old RFA, Halak signed a four-year, $15 million deal with the Blues — and it’s worth noting Bobrovsky’s current situation is a lot like Halak’s, in that both would cash in on a season of excellence.

Halak got his deal on the heels of a stellar 2009-10 campaign, when he went 26-13-5 with a .924 save percentage and 2.40 GAA during the regular season, then starred in the postseason by carrying the underdog Canadiens all the way to the Eastern Conference finals.


KHL club reportedly pursuing Bobrovsky

Columbus signs a goalie…but it’s not Bobrovsky

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.