The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to a four year contract extension worth $29.7 million. The contract commences for the 2015-2016 season and will pay him $7.425 million a season.
That means Bobrovsky will be the second-highest paid netminders in the National Hockey League, with New York’s Henrik Lundqvist taking the top spot.
This is the latest in a long line of Blue Jacket signings, with the club locking up key players like Nick Foligno, Ryan Johansen and Brandon Dubinsky recently. Bobrovsky will be aboard through the 2018-2019 season and is currently in his third season in Columbus.
The Blue Jackets acquired him in June of 2012 from the Philadelphia Flyers. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2013 and signed a two year contract around that time. Leading into Friday’s action, he currently possesses a 68-41-13 record with a 2.34 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. He also has 10 shutouts in 123 games in Columbus.
“We believe he’s only going to improve,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “It’s ultimately up to the player to prove that he’s worth the contract that he gets. That’s the way we operate, we operate on giving them the futures, and that’s [why] we evaluate these players every day, but we believe with his hard work and dedication he’s going to be one of the top goalies in this league for a long time.”
“This is a very exciting day for me and I am very happy knowing that I will continue to be a Columbus Blue Jacket and be able to play with the guys in this room, to work to get better every day and help the team achieve our goals together,” Bobrovsky said.
Going into Friday night, Bobrovsky was 15-10-2 with one shutout in 27 games. He had a 2.75 goals against average and a .917 save percentage, hardly big numbers on a team that finds itself 12th in the Eastern Conference. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10, though, so that could count for something.
As far as the new deal goes, Bobrovsky obviously went for money over distance. While peers like Pekka Rinne and Tuukka Rask locked in long-term deals with their respective clubs, Bobrovsky only took four years. That may have come about in part due to his KHL threats when he last signed in Columbus (the aforementioned two year contact), but one has to imagine Kekalainen is more than happy to get it done.