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Report: Jackets, Sergei Bobrovsky agree in principle on new deal

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Sergei Bobrovsky just won the Vezina as the league's best goalie. (USATSI)
Sergei Bobrovsky recently won the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie. (USATSI)

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The Columbus Blue Jackets continue to try to sign Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to a contract extension, but they didn't seem to be getting very far. It led to the report from Darren Dreger early on Sunday that Bobrovsky was actually on the trade block.

But things changed in a hurry. After a short time it was reported Bobrovsky and the Jackets are close to an extension and then later on Sunday Aaron Portzline reported tha deal was agreed to and would likely be finalized after the draft.

It's pretty amazing what can happen with the surfacing of trade talk, isn't it?

The up-and-down saga goes to show you how far apart he and the Jackets were on a new contract because Bobrovsky was without a doubt their best player last season. He was so good the Jackets finished just one point out of a playoff spot; you figured they couldn't possibly let him go.

At the same time, he has only had one good season in the NHL. He came to Columbus as a castoff from the Flyers, a guy who seemed like he wasn't going to reach his potential. So to pay a goalie $6 million annually against the cap who has only one year to show he's worth that much is risky to say the least. It's why Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen doesn't seem willing to go that high.

Still, he is young and was just named the league's best goalie this past season. If he is going to shoot for the stars on a new deal, this is the time. There would certainly be a lot of interest in him if the Jackets are indeed shopping him.

In a way the turn is too bad. It was going to be fun to see the trade speculation undoubtedly start with Bobrovsky to Philly rumors and why not? The Flyers traded him to Columbus last year and had to watch him flourish in Columbus. Not to mention they need a goaltender now after buying out Ilya Bryzgalov. The only downside to that is the Jackets would likely want a goalie in return and all the Flyers have is former Blue Jacket Steve Mason.

In all seriousness, though, it's great for the Blue Jackets; Bobrovsky was such a strong and steadying force for them last season, going 21-11-6 with a .932 save percentage and a goals against average of 2.00. Two seasons ago with the Flyers, he had a .899 save percentage and a 3.02 GAA.

 
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