A National Hockey League franchise is prepared to make a major move as they look to provide a major boost to their roster just a few short months after losing their top offensive star and their captain.
Trade rumors around the Columbus Blue Jackets have been gaining more and more steam seeing as the organization has failed to signed both of it's big upcoming free agents to new contract extensions thus far. Although the motivations for forward Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky appear to come from very different places it's beginning to sound more and more like both men will not be with the Blue Jackets organization for very much longer.
In Panarin's case it seems he simply wants to become a free agent and sign with whichever team it is that he would prefer to play for, rumors suggest that team is the New York Rangers. Bobrovsky on the other hand feels that he deserves to be among the NHL's highest paid goaltenders and is reportedly seeking a deal that would see him earn as much as Montreal Canadiens' star goaltender Carey Price. Price is currently on a contract that pays him $10.5 million per season and by the sound of things the Blue Jackets are not interested in investing anywhere near that much in a goaltender, and I don't blame them one bit.
Although the trade talk around Panarin has gone relatively quiet the trade talk around Bobrovsky has gained significant steam and it all seems to be fueled by a single NHL franchise. Two sources are now reporting that the New York Islanders are likely to be big time suitors for Bobrovsky's services although it's unclear at this time how close to that $10.5 million number they would be willing to go in order to secure his services.
First it was TSN insider Darren Dreger hinting at the fact that New York could very well be a destination for Bobrovsky.
“It’s possible,” said Dreger as per Chris Nichols. “I haven’t looked closely at what Columbus has coming, but I can tell you one team that would be keenly interested, and I believe that to be the New York Islanders. The Islanders have been searching for a goaltender that can be a difference-maker for quite some time. At least the media, we have talked about it for a long, long time, the need of the New York Islanders. Now with Lou Lamoriello there, he wasn’t able to get that work done and wasn’t able to convince John Tavares to sign on long term, so I get the feeling that Lou is going to be pretty hungry knowing that he’s going to have to try to snag a goaltender at some point.
“Whether there’s a deal to be made, whether or not it’s the Islanders or another team that jumps in on Bobrovsky as a free agent, there’ll be no shortage of suitors.”
Now that's not all that much to go on, however Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman has now seemingly echoed Dreger's sentiments, indicating that the Islanders may in fact be prepared to go "all in" to get Bobrovsky.
"I do think that if I was to put money on it now - and I'm not saying I'm going to be right, but if I had to place an early-season wager - I think that's the team that's all-in for Bobrovsky."
The addition of Bobrovsky would certainly provide them a huge boost in goal, the question now however is how much will it cost the Islanders to get such a highly respected and highly skilled goaltender from the Blue Jackets.