Former Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky has started to speak out about his final year in Columbus, and the unraveling that took place within the organization following the Blue Jackets loss to the Capitals in the first round of the 2018 playoffs. And he isn’t holding back.
Bobrovsky told Russia’s Sport 24 that a divide between he and the Blue Jackets began after the team’s first-round loss to the Washington Capitals in 2018, and he knew soon after that he would not re-sign with the Jackets.
“I was suspended by the team, there were some conflicts in the team, a lot of meetings and some of them just because of me,” Bobrovsky explained to Sport 24. “I didn’t feel comfortable. And still the Jackets tried and tried to extend me all season long.”
On July 1st, the Vezina Trophy winner signed a seven-year deal with the Florida Panthers for $10 million a year.
Bobrovsky is coming off a tumultuous season with the Blue Jackets, which included not starting the team’s first game and a suspension for personal conduct after being pulled from a game in January. Bobrovsky, who finished the season with a 37-24-1 record and a .913 save percentage, said that despite the problems, the Blue Jackets continually attempted to sign him to an extension.
The Blue Jackets decided to go “all-in” for this year’s playoffs, passing-up an opportunity to trade Bobrovsky and teammate Artemi Panarin at the trade deadline this season. Bobrovsky said he believes he played his best hockey later in the season because the pressure of playing ahead of the trade deadline had worn off. He went 18-8 from the start of February and allowed just eight goals in the team’s first-round sweep of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning.
Bobrovsky was also asked about the incident involving the Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov and being in a room with the suspicious substance. “From the age of 18, you have access to big money, so different people appear in your environment. Because of your age, you still do not understand them, but life quickly learns. By the years 25-26 you already understand what’s what, you can weed out people who communicate with you for some selfish purposes.”
By Jon Sorensen