UPDATE: Colmbus has agreed to a two-year deal with Sergei Bobrovsky despite trade rumors prior to the NHL Draft. The report comes from Aaron Portzline just hours after he and other writers indicated that the Blue Jackets were shopping their goaltender after failing to reach an agreement.
Sergei Bobrovsky, the NHL's 2013 Vezina Trophy winner, might be on the trade block. According to Darren Dreger, Bobrovsky is being shopped by the Columbus Blue Jackets after contract talks hit a snag. It's believed Bobrovsky is looking for $6 million a year, though it's unclear how many years the goaltender is hoping for.
According to Aaron Portzline, Bobrovsky wants a two-year deal which pays $6 million per year, but Columbus appears unwilling to pay their goaltender that much after just one strong season. While it's still possible the two sides reach a deal, the fact that Columbus is now willing to trade away the goaltender's rights should give a solid indication of how poorly negotiations have gone to this point.
It all comes down to one question: How much is Bobrovsky worth?
Bobrovsky was outstanding in 2013, posting a 21-11-6 record with a tidy 2.00 GAA and a save percentage of .932. His efforts won him the Vezina trophy. Are these accomplishments enough to warrant $6 million a year?
Bobrvosky is coming off of a three-year, $2.7 million contract. No one will argue that the goaltender doesn't deserve a raise, but $6 million a season seems ridiculously high. To put this in perspective, Jonathan Quick's annual cap hit is $5.8 million a season. A cap hit of $6 million a year for Bobrovsky is probably considerably higher than Columbus is willing to pay. It's also probably higher than what most NHL teams would be willing to pay, excluding the Philadelphia Flyers: Kings of the Bloated Goalie Contracts.
It's believed Bobrovsky has received an offer from the KHL which would pay $10 million a season, so the goaltender might have a legitimate reason to ask for $6 million a season. That doesn't mean Columbus is willing to go that high to retain a goaltender who is coming off of just one strong season in the NHL.
It's no mystery that there are numerous NHL teams looking for help in net. Columbus might be able to fetch a decent return on Bobrovsky's rights should they deal him this summer.