Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/04/13 at 08:47 AM ET
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.
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