Is Bob on His Way Out of Columbus?

News broke this morning that Blue Jacket’s Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky or Bob as us big time hockey guys call him is going to miss his team’s game against Nashville tonight.

No word yet on what happened or any context. It could honestly be anything here and there are two things to keep in mind about this situation… 1. He’s a goalie… 2. He’s Russian. Two of the most enigmatic type of people to ever grace this earth combined into one ball of mystery.

He could have been out all night drinking vodka after Torts ripping him a bit? He could have been hacking the DNC? He could have been pulled over in an altercation with the police driving his motorcycle around with his bear riding side car? The speculation is endless…

Making things complicated here is Bob is set to be a UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent for you non hockey guys) meaning he can sign anywhere he wants when the seasons over. He’s been stellar for the Jackets over the years in the regular season, but struggled in the playoffs. Regardless he’s the best goalie to ever put on a CBJ sweater. He holds all the club records:

  • Most wins in a season: 41 (2016–17)
  • Best goals against average in a season: 2.00 (2012–13)
  • Best save percentage: .932 (2012–13)

Columbus already had a bit of a debate on what to do with Bob that I doubt they were seriously considering until now. Trade him at the deadline or lose him in the offseason to free agency. The problem is he’s still currently their best option on the roster to guide them to a cup. This all goes without mentioning their best forward Artemi Panarin is also set to become a UFA and has refused to talk contract extension up to this point (He gone). 

If Bob is unhappy without an extension and causing issues for the team he’s gotta go. Even with a 7.4 million dollar cap hit this year, there are certainly teams that would be interested as either a short term fit for a cup run or a multi year starter. Let’s get a head of ourselves and list a few options that make sense at a glance:

 – Philly has been looking for a goalie for close to 3 decades now and actually traded Bob to Columbus in the first place, he would be a solid option to hold the net for a year or two til Carter Hart is ready.

 – Toronto has Freddie Andersen already but he’s coming off a groin injury, which for a goalie can be a nightmare to recover from. Bob would be a great guy to take some starts off his hands and make sure he fully recovers or platoon with until the playoffs.

 – Edmonton has Cam Talbot on an expiring contract and Bob would be an upgrade for an Oiler team fighting to make the playoffs. Connor McDavid would definitely appreciate the help.

 – Ottawa… but there’s a chance Bob just goes AWOL and ends up back in Siberia, seems more appealing. 

 – Carolina has tons of cap space (even with an internal budget) and a need for a bonafide #1 goaltender moving forward. They have young players and picks CBJ would covet, but it would be helping a division rival.

Torts is a no nonsense coach and would rather play with no goalie and 6 hard nose grinders blocking shots all night than a guy who disrespects him or his team. Bob’s days are numbered.

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