After a final weekend of wild twists and turns, the Sergei Bobrovsky roller coaster ride finally ended Sunday.
The Columbus Blue Jackets allowed its fanbase to exhale Sunday when it resigned Bobrovsky.
The deal, which was originally reported by the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline, is a two-year contract extension for the 2013 Vezina Trophy winning goalie. Portzline reported Monday the deal has an average annual value of $5.625 million.
This is why it was important not to get caught up in the roller coaster ride. Bobrovsky started with all the leverage. He won the Vezina, had a $10 million dollar offer from Russia and could field offers from other teams on July 5.
Unlike previous management for the Jackets, however, John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen are hardly foolish. Instead of immediately overpaying Bobrovsky or signing him for 10 years, they went and got leverage of their own.
Reports swarmed in that Davidson and Kekalainen were talking to any team they thought they could pry a #1 goalie from. They were even pursuing Tim Thomas, who sat out the entire 2012-2013 season.
Once management had acquired leverage of their own, the deal got done fairly quickly.
This is what is so exciting about Davidson and Kekalainen in charge. So far, they have proven they will make smart hockey decisions to continue building this organization into a perennial powerhouse.
This deal is a win-win for both sides. Bobrovsky gets just shy of $6 million a year when there is still some question about long-term success. Columbus avoids a long-term contract that could backfire, and they will control Bob for one more season after this deal expires.
Kekalainen told bluejackets.com Monday how important this signing was to the franchise.
“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,” Kekalainen said to bluejackets.com. “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.”
With Bobrovsky signed for the next two years and a solid team in front of him, Columbus has a strong chance to return to the playoffs for the second time in franchise history next season.
Just making the playoffs is not the goal of this franchise. Winning a Stanley Cup seems more realistic with every move management makes.