According to the Athletic’s Andy Strickland, free agent goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and the Florida Panthers have agreed on a contract. The deal will be worth around $10 million per season. Official terms will be released once free agency opens on July 1st.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) July 1, 2019
Sergei Bobrovsky Chooses the Florida Panthers
The Panthers made over their goaltending this off-season, and get an elite starting goaltender with good athleticism and even better vision and positioning. Over his nine-year NHL career, Bobrovsky has played for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers. He has put up a 255-153-37 career record in 457 career appearances with 446 career starts. He also has a 2.46 goals-against-average, .919 save percentage, and 33 shutouts. Bobrovsky has a career 11-18 record in 34 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, with a 3.14 goals-against-average, .902 save percentage, and no shutouts.
Last season, Bobrovsky played in 62 games with 61 starts for the Jackets. He put up a 37-24-1 record with a 2.58 goals-against-average and .913 save percentage and nine shutouts. In the playoffs, he went 6-4 with a 2.41 goals-against-average, .925 save percentage and no shutouts. His best season was in 2016-17 when he put up a 41-17-5 record with a 2.06 goals-against-average, .931 save percentage and seven shutouts. He’s also added ten career assists and 20 penalty minutes.
What This Means for the Future
Bobrovsky comes with a good pedigree, which includes two all-star nominations and two Vezina trophies. And while Bobrovsky has been around the block, he’s playing like he’s in his prime and should still have a few years left in him at the height of his game. As one of the best goalies in the league, this team immediately eliminates any worries or doubts about the Panthers goaltending. He’s just come off a stellar playoff performance that was able to carry the upstart Blue Jackets into the second round, before being eliminated by the Boston Bruins.
Bobrovsky is a very emotional goaltender, something that can either be a positive or negative for his club. When he’s on his game, he’s the happiest player in the locker room, and it creates a positive effect on the rest of the team. When he’s going through a slump, however, he can get irrational and create negative press around himself, as shown by an incident earlier this year.
COLUMBUS, OH – FEBRUARY 26: Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Columbus Blue Jackets follows the puck during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 26, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Pittsburgh defeated Columbus 5-2. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)