According to some NHL insiders the New York Islanders are being linked with interest in Columbus Blue Jackets two-time Vezina winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
Going into the 2018-19 season the New York Islanders goalie tandem is Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss. Two goalies who put up above 3.00 in the goals against average department last season. It’s not necessarily awe-inspiring to the fan base.
Both can certainly be serviceable and even return NHL average goaltending, but you wouldn’t expect either to put up Vezina winning numbers any time soon.
With that being said its obvious that the New York Islanders need help between the pipes down the road, if even as early as the 2019-2020 season. According to some around the league, the Isles have fixated on pending UFA Sergei Bobrovsky.
But by looking at a comparable and figuring out what Bobrovsky might want in terms of a contract, the Isles might want to stay away.
Are They Really?
It was revealed today on both Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts podcast as well as through TSN’s Darren Dreger, that the New York Islanders are very interested in Columbus Blue Jackets pending unrestricted free agent Sergei Bobrovsky.
Neither are actually confirming that the New York Islanders have inquired about Bobrovsky, simply that they see a fit for the two-time Vezina winning goalie on the Island.
And of course, that makes sense. The New York Islanders currently don’t have a tried-and-true starting goalie, let alone a perennial Vezina favorite between the pipes. WIth Bobrovsky seemingly indicating that he’ll be leaving in the summer, the link between the two makes sense.
It’s an easy line to draw.
But does it actually fit? When you think about it, does it makes sense to acquire 30-year-old Sergei Bobrovsky in free agency? I don’t.
Look at the most comparable player in his position; Carey Price. A player that won the Vezina trophy once and has a career 2.46 GAA and 0.918 SV%. Bobrovsky, over his career, has two Vezinas a 2.44GAA and a 0.920SV%.
Sure, Bobrovsky doesn’t have a Hart trophy like Carey Price does, but the Russian netminder finished third in Hart voting just two seasons ago. He and Price are close comparables.
You have to think that Bobrovsky is going to get a Carey Price like deal come free agency. Price is in year one of his mammoth eight-year $10.5 million cap hit contract from the Habs.
It isn’t necessarily wise to give a 31-year-old that type of money over what would be a max seven-year deal. Not when Linus Soderstrom and Ilya Sorokin are waiting in the wings.
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There’s no denying that Sergei Bobrovsky is a great goalie. But there’s also no denying that he’s going to want a Carey Price like contract. Who says when he’s 35 and on year number four of a seven-year deal he doesn’t decline quickly? Keep in mind this is a goalie that had a 2.75 GAA and 0.908SV% just three years ago.