The contract talks between Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets have been pretty well documented to this point. Almost none of the news has been positive, as the two sides continue to move at a snail’s pace on a new deal for the restricted free agent goaltender.
The fact that the two sides have made such little progress is no secret, which means that clubs over in Russia are going to try and take advantage. We’ve known that there was a KHL club trying to woo Bobrovsky over back across the ocean, but now there’s a real contract offer behind it.
SKA St. Petersburg, a club that has been mentioned as one hot after Bobrovsky for quite some time, has reportedly offered him a contract to leave the United States and head back over to Russia. That deal reportedly includes a salary of $10 million a year, much more than anything he’d get playing over here.
You have to wonder how serious the threat of Bobrovsky heading over to Russia after receiving a contract offer like this really is. There are also rumors that moving over there would help him lock down the starting goaltender job for Russia at next year’s Olympics, just to make it a little more enticing.
The Blue Jackets remain confident that a deal will eventually get done, and have said they’ll match any contract offer from a team around the league, as he’s a restricted free agent. Of course, they won’t be able to afford to compete with a KHL club in that regard, but it’s believed that Bobrovsky’s intention is to remain here.
It’ll be interesting to see how things continue to transpire for Bobrovsky and the Jackets. The KHL threat just became that much more real, so one has to wonder how urgent a new deal now becomes for the Blue Jackets to try and reach with their Vezina-winning netminder.