Originally written June 25, 2013 on Fox Sports Ohio:
Florida-panthers
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Columbus Blue Jackets want goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky back, but they have company in pursuing his services. The 24-year-old Bobrovsky keyed the Blue Jackets' second-half surge last season and was good enough to win the Vezina award as the NHL's top goaltender. His contract expired after the season, and the Blue Jackets are working to keep him not only off of the restricted free-agent market next month, but away from the KHL in his his native Russia. Reports have linked at least one team KHL as ready to make Bobrovsky a substantial offer and others with interest. "We're working hard to get him back and we're optimistic that we'll have him back," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Tuesday. "We're working at it and hoping we'll get it done." Bobrovsky had a 21-11-6 record with a .932 save percentage and 2.00 goals against average last season after being traded from Philadelphia. He was the runaway winner of the Vezina, collecting 17 of 29 first-place votes from general managers leaguewide and doubling up the second-place finisher. Henrik Lundqvist, in overall voting points. He's the youngest Vezina winner in 17 years and the first Russian to win the award. With the NHL salary cap shrinking starting next season and Bobrovsky's stock skyrocketing, the Blue Jackets have reason to be concerned with the interest by the free-spending KHL. Kekalainen said he doesn't know about "the process" with the KHL's pursuit of Bobrovsky but has heard whispers of a potential high-dollar offer. "Some of the things you hear, we can't compete with," he said. "Nobody wants to lose the Vezina-winning goalie. Obviously we want him back but we need players who want to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets. I'm optimistic that he wants to continue on with our team and be a part of the growth of our team." If Bobrovsky doesn't reach a deal with the Blue Jackets or a KHL team, he'll become an NHL restricted free agent on July 5. Per KHL rules, an offer from that league can formally be made on July 1. "We can't compete with the KHL -- we are different leagues with different structures and different budgets," Kekalainen said.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.