Blue Jackets: From Bad to Worse with Sergei Bobrovsky

Back in October, we addressed the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Bobrovsky blues. The situation between goalie and franchise was, at the time, not pretty.

In the months since, the situation has only gotten worse.

The Blue Jackets shelved goalie Sergei Bobrovsky Thursday after an apparent incident. Nobody seems to really know what the incident pertains to, but there are a few details we can glean from the behaviour of netminder and his team.

First, we have the statement from general manager Jarmo Kekalainen: “there are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values.”

At first blush, that sounds kind of boilerplate.

But consider the details and it’s loaded with material. Bobrovsky did not live up the expectations the Blue Jackets have set for their culture. That’s a big shot across the bow. Bobrovsky is, in Kekalainen’s jargon, not living up to what it means to be a member of the team. He “failed to meet those expectations and values.”

That’s a step short of saying Bobrovsky isn’t a team player at this point.

And that’s not exactly a secret, what with the pending unrestricted free agent all but loathing Columbus at this point. He was yanked out of the crease in Tampa Tuesday after allowing four goals in an eventual 4-0 loss. Bobrovsky apparently “exchanged words” with Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella on his way out and hit the showers. He got changed into his suit and did not join his team on the bench. Obviously.

Was that the “incident” referenced by Kekalainen? Was it a veritable Patrick Roy moment?

Possibly. Tortorella was mum and you have to imagine that’s due to however management is planning to proceed. Bobrovsky is set to have a Friday meeting with Kekalainen to determine if he’ll be playing Sunday in Washington, so this problem could grow if that face-to-face doesn’t go well.

Columbus seems content to move on, by the way. Backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo is 7-2-2 with a 3.26 goals against average and he made 32 saves for the win against Nashville when Bobrovsky was out of the picture. The Blue Jackets have faith in the Pori-born goalie.

As for Bobrovsky, the stage is set for some major fireworks. It doesn’t seem likely that the goalie and his team will be able to pace the season and, contingent on Friday’s meeting, we could be looking at a trade sooner than we think.

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