Fresh off winning the Vezina Trophy, but still without an NHL contract for next season, Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovksy has received the full-court press from KHL president Alexander Medvedev, who would love to see the young Russian leave North America to sign with SKA St. Petersburg.
“I’ve met Sergei and his agent. We held negotiations, an offer was made,” said Medvedev, per R-Sports. “Now the player has to make his decision. The choice is his.”
Though the NHL is undoubtedly the best hockey league in the world, Medvedev — who’s also a director of SKA — doesn’t believe that signing in Russia for big money would mark a “step backwards” for Bobrovsky.
“We think that this is an excellent offer for Sergei to continue his career, a return to his home league, to a strong team,” Medvedev said.
It remains unclear how seriously Bobrovsky, 24, is considering the KHL as an alternative, or if he’s mostly using it as leverage in negotiations with the Jackets.
Bobrovsky can become an NHL restricted free agent on July 5; however, as the Columbus Dispatch reports, his obligation to the Jackets expires on July 1, at which point he’s free to sign overseas.