The St. Louis Blues are in desperate need of a number one goalie, and pending UFA Sergei Bobrovsky is having some issues with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
I have been a long time apologist for currently St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen. However, my patience is running thin, and it is becoming more clear that the Blues need a high caliber goalie like Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, tensions between Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets have heightened over the past week. There was a reported incident where the goalie “failed to meet the expectations and values of the Blue Jackets organization.”
The incident comes off a 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, a game in which Bobrovsky was pulled in the third period after allowing the fourth Lightning goal of the game.
After being pulled from the game, instead of coming back to the bench to watch the remainder of the third period, Bobrovsky was not seen on the bench for the conclusion of the game.
Bobrovsky was not in attendance for Columbus’ next game against the Nashville Predators, and following the 4-3 overtime win, his locker was cleared.
There were no reports of a possible trade after this incident, and Bobvrovsky returned to the ice for practice earlier this morning. However, an incident like this with a pending unrestricted free agent could indicate that the Blue Jackets might be willing to trade the 30-year-old goalie.
So now the question needs to be asked, should the Blues consider trading for Bobrovsky? The answer is yes, the Blues should CONSIDER trading for the two-time Vezina Trophy winner but only if they are in serious contention.
I think it is time to admit that Allen needs a change of scenery, we have seen at times that he is capable of handling the job of being a legitimate number one goalie. However, those instances are few and far between.
As of writing, the Blues are seven points out of the second wild-card spot, and ten out of third place in the Central Division. If St. Louis were at a point in the season that they were in contention, I would have to imagine that it is because Allen has turned his season around.
The Blues have gotten stellar play from rookie Jordan Binnington in his two career starts, but it has only been two career starts. It is easy to get caught up in rookie sensations, especially at goalie, but he is making saves that Allen is not, and the Blues have won those games for that reason.
It’s unlikely that the Binnington can handle the number one duties for the remainder of the season at the NHL level, so if the Blues want to get to the point of considering trading for Bobrovsky, Allen needs to turn his year around.
The Blues do not need to acquire Bobrovsky this season, they could roll the dice and try and pay him in the offseason, but I find it hard to believe many top tierd free agents want to come to St. Louis if the season continues the way it is.
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Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin is also an unrestricted free agent after this season, and many people speculate that Columbus can only afford to keep one of them. This incident could push Bobrovsky out of Columbus.