Former Blue Jacket Sergei Bobrovsky cements a Hall of Fame career with Stanley Cup win

Sergei Bobrovsky reached the peak of his career last night, backstopping the Florida Panthers to a Stanley Cup. Combining his accomplishments with the Blue Jackets, he has a complete resume for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven / Elsa/GettyImages

Time has a way of mending wounds. In the case of Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets, that may or not be the case. It probably depends on who you ask. Both sides were left with a sour taste at the end of the 2019 season.

Bob left the Jackets that summer for sunny south Florida, signing a 7-year, $10m AAV contract with the Panthers. Soon after putting pen to paper, it felt like this was one of the worst contracts in league history.

Yet on this night, just less than 5 years later, it doesn't feel like that is true at all.

Bobrovsky led the Panthers to a Stanley Cup victory this season, capping it all off with 24 saves in a 2-1 win in game 7 on Monday night. This was the crowning achievement on what we can now comfortably say is a Hall of Fame career.

We were fortunate enough to enjoy 7 years of it with the Blue Jackets, and we should be thankful.

The Jackets acquired the Russian goaltender all the way back in 2012, for a handful of draft picks. (Funny enough, Bobrovsky's backup last night, Anthony Stolarz, was one of the players selected by the Flyers with those picks).

Bob's first season in Columbus was shortened by a lockout, but when play resumed; he not only won the starting job over Steve Mason, he went on to win the Vezina trophy as the best goaltender in the NHL that season.

This is a feat Bobrovsky accomplished twice in Columbus (2017). In fact, he's the most decorated player in Blue Jackets history for that reason.

After this season, he sits 14th all-time in wins with 396 - 214 of them in Columbus - and a career save percentage of .915%.

Really, you could say that the only thing he lacked on his Hall of Fame resume, was a Stanley Cup win. We can no longer say that after last night.

The only disappointing thing for me is that the Blue Jackets were never able to surround him with enough talent to get over the hump. We've learned over the last two seasons that Bobrovsky is a capable goaltender in the playoffs. This was the knock on him for his entire career - he just wasn't the same in the postseason.

In the end, maybe that wasn't the case. Maybe it was just an easy team to pick apart. Instead, now we'll probably reflect back upon Bob's years in Columbus as mostly spoiled, in spite of his regular season success. But we certainly can't be bitter, because it wasn't all his fault.

I'm happy for him. He gave us everything he had for 7 seasons. A lot of joy, hope, and memorable moments. All I have to say at this point is this: Congratulations, Sergei Bobrovsky. On the Cup win, but also the now inevitable Hall of Fame invitation. You earned it.