When his team first got out there, Bobrovsky was initially missing and eyebrows were beginning to raise. But then, after a couple of minutes, he did join his teammates following an off-ice meeting just before.
Following practice, everyone wanted to know the whole story about what the heck happened earlier this week. On Thursday morning, the Blue Jackets distributed a press release saying Bobrovsky would not be with the team when they played Nashville Thursday night. They gave very few details about what happened, with GM Jarmo Kekalainen only saying “there are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture,” and that Bobrovsky did not meet them. Goalie J-F Berube had to be called up from the AHL to serve as the backup.
When everyone got off the ice Friday, the goalie spoke to the media for the first time since the incident.
“Tuesday night against Tampa was a tough loss for everybody, so … it was emotional,” Bobrovsky said, according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic. “We might play them in the playoffs. I let my emotions get to me when I shouldn’t. So, yeah. We had the meeting with the team.
“I pride myself to be a good teammate all the time, wherever I’ve played and whomever I’ve played. I addressed that to the team. It is what it is. What happened has happened. We cleaned the air and we’re ready to move on. It’s unfortunate for the fans, too, that it happened. But it’s going to stay in the room and between us and that’s it.”
In the final year of his contract, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner has made no indication that his desire is to re-sign in Columbus this summer. When he was asked about his plans and if he’d entertain a return to Columbus earlier this season, all he said was “we’ll see” and that he told management his intentions after the 2017-18 season so they “know everything.”
The GM did not add anything new on Friday, declining to comment if he’d asked the goalie to waive his no-trade clause or what, specifically, happened that led to the unofficial one-game suspension.
Bobrovsky was asked if he was seeking a way out of Columbus before the summer.
“I am here, and I will play here,” Bobrovsky told Portzline. “I will do my best as I have done for this team, for this organization, for these fans, for this city. I’ve been working hard, and I will continue to do that.”
It is still not clear what the incident was.
On Tuesday, Columbus lost 4-0 to Tampa Bay and Bobrovsky was pulled with a little less than 12 minutes left in the third period after allowing four goals on 19 shots. Without Bobrovsky on Thursday, the Blue Jackets beat Nashville 4-3 in overtime as Joonas Korpisalo stopped 32 of 35 shots.
With a 25-15-3 record Columbus sits third in the Metro Division, one point up on the Islanders and just two up on Montreal, who sit ninth in the East. Since ending their five-game winning streak in December, the Blue Jackets are 3-3-0.