Sergei Bobrovsky is human, go figure.
There are nights where his play might suggest otherwise, but the man made the declaration himself on Saturday, telling reporters in Columbus about his terrestrial nature when asked about the distraction he is facing given his contract status with the Blue Jackets.
“Yeah, well, we’ll see. I’m a human too,” Bobrovsky said when asked about separating the game’s business side to its on-ice counterpart. “I’ve developed some skills, some mental skills, some technical skills, so I’m a human … it is what it is.”
Blue Jackets fans, and frankly anyone paying even a small amount of attention to his situation, will remember Bob’s cryptic answers to questions surrounding his future earlier this month.
Both “Bob” and the Blue Jackets find themselves in an interesting situation. Bobrovsky, of course, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season and talks on a new contract aren’t where you might think they should be given the skill Bobrovsky possesses.
Added to the list of stressors is a crummy preseason for the 30-year-old, who is the frontrunner to win the Vezina this year according to the bookies.
One wonders how much his contract situation is playing on his mind, and if it is, how much is it going to affect his season. Bobrovsky’s play is paramount to Columbus’s chances this season.
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But there’s plenty of distractions, especially when you include Artemi Panarin‘s contract situation as well. On Thursday, the team found out they’d be without their best defenseman for four-to-six weeks, piling even more adversity onto the team.
These are trying times in Ohio.
There’s every reason to believe the Blue Jackets’ window is open to take a run at the Cup, but it slams shut if Bobrovsky isn’t playing at his best.
Re-signing a two-time Vezina winner seems like a no-brainer, but it seems like there is more at play here than what is seen in the public eye.
Bobrovsky has said he won’t negotiate a new deal during the season, so there’s less than a week to figure that out or a lot of uncertainty going forward.
Further reading: PHT’s Season Preview Roundtable: Blue Jackets, Rinne’s future, surprise teams
Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck