The Columbus Blue Jackets released a cryptic statement on Thursday morning to explain why star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not be with the team for tonight’s home game against the Nashville Predators.
The statement is below, but you will not learn a whole bunch from reading it.
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not be with the team for tonight’s game vs. the Nashville Predators, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture,” said Kekalainen. “An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”
Apparently, Bobrovsky has committed some kind of transgression. What that transgression is we do not know and may never know, unless someone leaks it, which may or may not happen.
One reporter is speculating, Kristopher Martel, guessing that the following Instagram photo Bobrovsky posted 16 hours ago might have something to do with the decision to bench him.
— Kristopher Martel (@kmartel_sports) January 10, 2019
Frank Seravalli also speculated that part of the reason for the pseudo-suspension came after Bobrovsky was pulled after allowing four goals against the Tampa Bay Lightining.
If you'll recall, Bobrovsky was pulled after 4 GA vs. TBL on Tues. They had an exchange as Bob exited. Tortorella said this morning he considered pulling Bob after 3 GA. "Game's over. I know I wanted to have him here vs. Nashville. I did not want him getting scarred any more."
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 10, 2019
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella dodged questions about Bobrovsky at the team’s post-practice press conference.
John Tortorella didn't elaborate on Bobrovsky in his post-skate press conference beyond press release. Declined to answer @Aportzline's question about whether the goalie has played his last game with Blue Jackets.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 10, 2019
The Capitals play the Blue Jackets Saturday and it’s unclear if Bobrovksy will be in net for that game in addition to tonight’s game.
Also wouldn't say anything about whether Bobrovsky will be back for Columbus' next game — at Washington on Saturday. https://t.co/F2O5larrYA
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) January 10, 2019
In general, the Blue Jackets are in a quandary. They sit third in the Metropolitan Division and have got a solid grip on a playoff spot, but pending UFA Artemi Panarin has already stated his intention not to extend with Columbus. Head coach John Tortorella has been rumored to have a thorny relationship with some players, including Bobrovsky specifically. Columbus’s goaltending has not been excellent this season, ranking 25th during 5-on-5 play, and Bobrovsky sporting a middling 90.6 save percentage during all strengths.
Bobrosvky, 30, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He currently earns $7.4 million per season and has a no-movement clause, according to CapFriendly.
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