After weeks of the Columbus Blue Jackets talks with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky being stuck in the mud, the two sides might have finally gained some traction.
Bobrovsky is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer, and while the Blue Jackets plan to match any potential offer sheet, another NHL team might not be their biggest competition for his services.
SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL is reportedly offering Bobrovsky something in the ballpark of $10 million annually and the 24-year-old netminder has confirmed that he’s negotiating with both Columbus and St. Petersburg.
That gives Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen added incentive to move quickly and in the interest of doing so, he’s willing to concede one point to Bobrovsky’s agent.
“I said, ‘Let’s just proceed as if he’s already won (the Vezina Trophy)’,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch. “Let’s take that out of the equation. Let’s assume he’s won it, and move forward from there.”
Bobrovsky is a very strong contender for the award after posting a 2.00 GAA and .932 save percentage in 38 games. The winner will be revealed on Saturday.
He also played a huge role in pushing the Columbus Blue Jackets into the playoff race, even if they ultimately fell short.
It’s not surprising that Kekalainen would like to get this matter settled as soon as possible, but the two sides haven’t come to terms yet.
“His representation is doing what they feel is best; I don’t blame them,” Kekalainen said. “We’re doing what we think is best. I’m not discouraged at all. This is part of the process that both sides have to go through to get a deal done.”
One potential sticking point might be the length of the deal. Bobrovsky has three years of restricted free agent eligibility left, so the Blue Jackets are believed to be pushing for either a two or four-year contract.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?