Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Negotiations between Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and Bobrovsky’s agent, Paul Theofanous, have not gained traction. There is good reason for this: Theofanous wants to wait, and it behooves him to do so.
Bobrovsky will be worth more if he wins the Vezina and/or receives an offer sheet from another team and/or receives an offer from SKA St. Petersburg — which might be offering something in the range of $10 million annually.
Bobrovsky is just 24 years old and coming out of his first contract, but he is set up to get a third-contract payday. All he has to do is sit tight past July 5 and the market will do the rest.
Is there a chance that the money will be too big to resist in St. Petersburg? That question is best answered with another: How strong is Bobrovsky’s desire to play anywhere other than the best league in the world? Considering the way he is wired, his preference is to remain in the NHL, even if he is a bit lighter in the wallet. It is as not as if he will be a pauper if he retains his Blue Jackets jersey.
Bobrovsky will be a Jacket if he stays over here. Kekalainen is on record: Whatever any other team tenders to his restricted free agent, the Blue Jackets will match it. That’s good news for the team’s fans. It means ownership is willing to pony up for a potential franchise cornerstone. It would be the wise move, especially if Bobrovsky is among that rare breed — a bona fide No. 1 goaltender.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
It has been about a month since the Blue Jackets’ season ended and two months since contract talks between the club and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky started, but the sides are no closer to reaching a deal.
“We’ve talked. We’ve exchanged ideas,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said this week. “But we haven’t made any progress, really. It’s been pretty quiet for a while now.”
Bobrovsky, 24, can become a restricted free agent on July 5, and he’s due a big raise from the roughly $1.7 million a season he made in his entry-level deal, including salary and bonuses.
via the Columbus Blue Jackets website,
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik has an abdominal injury that will require surgery and a recovery period of three to four weeks, the club announced today. Due to the injury, Gaborik will be unable to represent Slovakia at the upcoming IIHF World Championships.
“Marian experienced some soreness towards the end of the season and after undergoing his exit physical and further examination today, it was decided that surgery is the best option for a quick and full recovery,” said Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson. “Marian will have the surgery and after a three to four week recovery period will be able to resume off-season training.”
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
The Blue Jackets finished one point out of the playoffs. Former GM Scott Howson's rule did not come back to bite them; they would have lost out to the Wild in the previous tie-breaker scenario (total wins), too.
But this one stings. It stings for many because of the way this team played: so tough, so resilient, so full of passion and energy, even in a season when a compressed schedule made hamburger of their groins.
About two hours after last night's game ended, three mini-dozers came through the Zamboni entrance and started ripping up the ice, always a depressing scene.
Another hockey season has ended in Columbus ... but this was not like so many of the others.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Whatever happens, the Jackets have written one of the best stories of this truncated season. Their goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, is the front-runner for the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) and is integral to the script. Yet the cast is large and the tale seems pure fantasy.
Since Feb. 26, when they had the worst record in the NHL, the Jackets have lost fewer games (five) in regulation than any other team in the league. Over the same span, they have accrued more points (41) than any team save for Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago. It is crazy.
They are 18-5-5 in 28 games over the past 60 days. They went 5-1 in their final six road games after going 5-11-2 in their previous 18. They have won at Minnesota, Anaheim and San Jose. They have won without Artem Anisimov, one of their top centers; and Nikita Nikitin, who mans a point on their power play; and Matt Calvert, their bowling-ball winger.
On Thursday night, they won in Dallas when the alternative was elimination. Dare anyone doubt them?
Here are a few "ifs" between Detroit. Minnesota and Columbus going into the last game of the season.
Minnesota will win the tie-breaker if even in points with Detroit or Columbus.
Detroit wins the tie-breaker if tied with Columbus in points.
Columbus doesn't win any tie-breaker so they must finish a point ahead of Detroit or Minnesota to finish 7th or 8th.
Games on Saturday
Detroit plays in Dallas at 7:00pm ET, Columbus at home against Nashville at 7:00pm ET and Minnesota plays at Colorado at 7:30pm ET.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Detroit is up a point on Columbus and has the tie-breaker in its favour, meaning the Blue Jackets need Detroit to lose in regulation in their final game against the Dallas Stars, which would allow Columbus to slip past them in the standings with a victory. Seems improbable, except for the fact that two years ago, a similar sort of scenario unfolded, Chicago getting the final playoff spot, because the team chasing them – Dallas – unexpectedly lost on the final Sunday to a Minnesota team that had already been eliminated from the playoffs. Given a second chance, the eighth-seeded Blackhawks pushed No. 1 Vancouver to seven games and only lost in overtime of the deciding game. What is it they say? Stranger things have happened.
more hockey topics discussed...
Vezina and possibly Hart Trophy candidate Sergei Bobrovsky with his top 10 saves.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Matt Calvert to a two-year contract extension through the 2014-15 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
“Matt is a dynamic young winger that plays with great tenacity at both ends of the ice and we look forward to his continued development and contributions to our hockey club,” said Kekalainen.
Puck-Rakers reports the deal is for $1.975M.
Ryan Johansen with the game winning goall after a turnover by Joe Pavelski.
from the CP at TSN,
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