The Florida Panthers have been heavily linked to netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, expected to pursue the 30-year-old in the summer during free agency.
But what seems to be clear is that while the Panthers have tried to formulate a trade over the past few days for his services, it’s unlikely that Bobrovsky will arrive in Sunrise, Florida via trade.
According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun (note: article behind paywall), the Panthers’ chances of acquiring Bobrovsky before the deadline are “slim.”
This really comes as to no surprise seeing that the Blue Jackets’ asking price for their No. 1 goalie is pretty hefty and the Cats can always circle back in the summer without having to lose any assets.
Once figuring out that a trade would prove costly, Tallon decided that the best option moving forward would to be to circle back and sign him on the open market.
For Bobrovsky, this means that the max term he’ll be getting in free agency this summer is seven years. Had a trade gone down with Florida or any other team, his term could be increased by one, ultimately earning an eight-year deal.
On the other hand, the Panthers have both the assets and cap space available to make either route work.
Eventually and patiently, the Panthers will get their Luongo replacement and it looks as if Sergei Bobrovsky will be that guy.
While being patient may be difficult for many of us, the Panthers have a plan set in place and one that will not only be centered around one Blue Jacket but one that could very well be concentrated around signing a couple of Blue Jackets.