“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture,” Kekalainen said in a press release. “An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”
According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Bobrovsky will meet with Kekalainen before Friday’s practice. If it goes well, the goalie could return to the ice right after.
“I’m not going to speculate on any of that until we resolve the issue,” Kekalainen told Portzline when asked what would happen if the Friday meeting doesn’t go well. “We’ll meet before the practice (Friday) and deal with it.
“There are certain values and expectations we have for the players, no matter who it is. If you don’t live up to them, there are going to be consequences.”
Bobrovsky is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and is currently in the final year of his contract with the Blue Jackets. The 30-year-old has an 18-13-1 record with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.
Bobrovsky’s future with the team beyond this season has been an open question, as is the future of star forward Artemi Panarin, who is also expected to test the free-agent market this summer.
“After last season, I told the situation to the management of the Blue Jackets, so they know everything,” Bobrovsky said in September, according to The Athletic. “They know my plans for the season. They know my plans for the future. They know everything.
“They know exactly what we’re going to do.”
The Blue Jackets also announced on Thursday that centre Brandon Dubinsky will miss at least one week while recovering from a hamstring injury. Winger Markus Hannikainen will also miss a week with an elbow injury. Both players were placed on injured reserve.
The Blue Jackets enter play Thursday with a 24-15-3 record and sit in third in the Metropolitan Division.