Report: Blue Jackets' Bobrovsky rejected contract extension offer during camp
The Columbus Blue Jackets may be facing a bad case of déjà vu.
Fresh off an extended and contentious contract negotiation with forward Ryan Johansen, the Blue Jackets are potentially facing a similar situation with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who will become a restricted free agent at season's end.
In an attempt to get ahead of the situation, the Blue Jackets made an initial contract offer during training camp that was rejected by Bobrovsky and agent Paul Theofanous, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
The two sides haven’t spoken since.
"We love Bob, we want to obviously keep him," Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told LeBrun on Tuesday. "We made a fair offer in our opinion and it didn’t go anywhere. We’ll keep after it. He’s an incredibly hard-working player and he’s a leader that way and such a good example. We absolutely want to keep a guy like that and for long-term."
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post Dispatch added Bobrovsky, the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner, wants to be paid like an elite-level goalie. The club, however, is not ready to cough up that kind of money quite yet, waiting instead to see how he performs this season.
Unfortunately for Bobrovsky, who signed a two-year, $11.25 million deal prior to the start of last season, he and the Blue Jackets have been hit by a host of injuries, burying them at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division through 15 games.
Still, Bobrovsky boasts a career .918 save percentage and a significant piece of hardware, and will command a pretty penny. If the Blue Jackets aren't willing to pay the price, teams back home in Russia certainly will.
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