On Monday morning, the Blue Jackets announced that they have come to an agreement with the Vezina Trophy-winning goalie from the past season. The deal is for just two years and $11.25 million according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. That works out to an annual average salary of $5.625 million.
"Re-signing Sergei Bobrovsky was a top priority for our organization and once again ownership has given us the resources to build a winning team," GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in the release. "Bob is a terrific player and an outstanding young man with a work ethic that is second to none and was a well-deserved winner of the Vezina Trophy this season as the NHL's top goaltender. He was a big part of the progress we made last season and we expect him to play an important role in the growth of our team.
"With the signings of Bob and Artem Anisimov, as well as the addition of the players we selected in the draft, we feel very strongly about the direction our organization is headed, and we'll continue to work in the days, weeks and months ahead to move our team forward."
As they should with Bobrovsky back under contract. He was absolutely tremendous in his first year with the Jackets, posting a 2.00 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. He was at his best down the stretch when the Blue Jackets caught fire and nearly made the playoffs.
That strong season made it a lot tougher for the Blue Jackets to sign the restricted free agent to a new contract. As good as he was last season, it was the first really good season of his career. It led to Bobrovsky having a high asking price as the threat of the KHL loomed over the negotiations.
It got to the point that a report surfaced that the Blue Jackets were shopping Bobrovsky's rights as they weren't going to play $6 million per season. Not long after that report, things took a turn for the better and a deal became imminent until it was announced. It also helped that Bobrovsky seemed to prefer Columbus over all the other options.
"I'm very happy to be a Columbus Blue Jacket," Bobrovsky said. "My wife and I really like Columbus and the fans have been very nice to us and supportive of our team. I'm looking forward to the season and working with my teammates to help us to our goal of winning a Stanley Cup."
The deal doesn't have a lot of term, but that's surely by design. If the Blue Jackets were going to commit so much money they at least weren't going to want to lock themselves into the deal. You never can be sure if that one season was a flash in the pan or a sign of things to come.
Most important, though, is that the Jackets have their best player from last season back and under contract.
Bobrovsky was acquired from the Flyers before last season for their second- and fourth-round picks in 2012 plus a fourth-round pick in 2013.