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Goaltending rumors are everywhere right now. Speak to anyone in Toronto, Chicago, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Vancouver and here in Tampa and it becomes abundantly clear that this could well be the “summer of the goaltender” in the NHL. Names that come up often have been well documented here and by the mainstream media. You have Schneider, Luongo, Bernier, Harding, Lindback, Vokoun and Thomas all making their way around the rumor mill right now. However, it’s time to go off the beaten path and draft up a new solution that has only been thought of by a few. Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning should take a long look at Sergei Bobrovsky come draft day.

When people brought up acquiring Schneider, the thought was that he would come at a “discount” because he was stuck behind Roberto Luongo’s big contract. Well, while that didn’t exactly turn out to be the case, that principle does apply here. Bobrovsky is stuck behind Ilya Bryzgalov’s massive contract and his off-ice antics. Unlike in Vancouver, don’t expect the younger face to usurp the grizzled veteran. The Flyers have tied themselves to Bryzgalov for the foreseeable future.

As mentioned, this summer’s goaltending market should be a hot one. For that reason, it’s rather surprising that Bobrovsky’s name hasn’t been thrown around as much as some of his NHL counterparts. He’s young, he’s got NHL experience as a starter and he has shown that he can push through tough situations. Those are all qualities that every team would love in a potential number one goaltender. Looking at Bobrovsky and what he brings to the table, it’s hard not to see him as a “poor man’s” Schneider. At 23, “Bob,” as he is known in Philadelphia, could indeed be the long-term solution we are looking for in Tampa Bay.

The attractiveness of Bobrovsky is hard to ignore. He boasts a career save percentage of just about 0.910%, he stands at 6’2” in the net and he is a hard working kid. Why teams like the Maps and Blackhawks haven’t been linked to him is mind boggling; this guy should be right at the top of every team’s “want” list. Another plus working in the kid’s favor is the fact that he is signed through this upcoming season for a very affordable $1.75million cap hit. That’s far cheaper than guys like Schneider, Luongo and Harding are going to cost potential suitors.

At the end of the day, Steve Yzerman needs to be looking for a long-term solution. Sergei Bobrovsky could be that long-term solution provided he is given the opportunity. What’s interesting about Bobrovsky is the fact that his stats kind of tailed off with the arrival of Bryzgalov. Without looking too far into that, it would be pretty safe to assume that this guy is dying to be a starter in the NHL. Isn’t that what every young goaltender dreams of? If Bobrovsky ends up in Tampa he will be given keys to the figurative car. It could be a win-win situation for both the young tender and the growing Tampa Bay Lightning.

On a more comical note, with the KHL gaining ground in the hockey world and players like Radulov and Burmistrov struggling in the NHL, the whole “Russian factor” debate is raging once again. To respond to that argument against Bobrovsky, this columnist wishes that fans remember when this franchise has a little bit of success with a Russian tending the pipes.

Thanks for reading!
Filed Under:   tampa   bay   lightning   sergei   bobrovsky   philadelphia  
May 4, 2012 11:17 AM ET | Delete
What would the Bolts give to get?
May 4, 2012 11:26 AM ET | Delete
To me that's the big issue with this deal. What do you guys need that we have? Your team is pretty complete as it is. We have 6 draft picks in the first two rounds this year. My guess is any sort of package would start with Detroit's first rounder and then adding from there. Your thoughts?
May 4, 2012 11:55 AM ET | Delete
I'm thinking Bob and Carle for Hedman...
May 4, 2012 11:59 AM ET | Delete
Based on the new contract Hedman signed, I think Yzerman is going to hold onto him barring an offer that knocks his socks off. Hedman is still really, really young and developing really nicely. Yzerman knows this and will want to hold onto him. I think a deal for Bob has to focus on draft picks.
May 4, 2012 12:23 PM ET | Delete
Picks aren't bad for Philly...They need to lose $ but also need to upgrade that D...
May 4, 2012 12:28 PM ET | Delete
I like the the thinking for Bobrovsky alot a new name because everyone is talking about Bernier, Harding, Luongo or Tim Thomas! As for trading Hedman that's not going to happen! As for Bobrovsky I think Yzerman would offer the redwings 1st round pick plus maybe a 2nd or 3rd! maybe tampa gives the flyers Garon as well then they go sign Josh Harding in FA to go with Bobrovsky/ Harding in goal. But the Tim Thomas rumor I think is the way Yzerman might go until Tokarski is ready to be the man in Tampa.
May 4, 2012 12:29 PM ET | Delete
you can have walker back
May 4, 2012 12:57 PM ET | Delete
I like Bobrovsky a lot too, but I'd keep Garon to back him up. Garon proved that he can at least be somewhat respectable in net. Bobrovsky for Detroit's first and a second or third sounds about right when you consider what Washington got for the much more proven Varlamov. If we get Bob, we won't be able to afford Harding. Harding will command $5million and want to be an undisputed number one guy.
May 4, 2012 12:57 PM ET | Delete
I've missed Walker so much :'(
May 4, 2012 1:11 PM ET | Delete
this is a joke right? we absolutely lit up bob every time the flyers played him against us. he proved hes not ready for playoff action and be in big game situations. id rather spend the extra 4 mill for a proven number 1. no more quick fixes we havent had a number 1 since we won the cup and we wont win another one without one. done deal.
May 4, 2012 1:12 PM ET | Delete
May 4, 2012 1:13 PM ET | Delete
and dont even bring up hedman hes going no where. stamkos and hedman will play their entire careers here. hedman is by far our best dman and the only way he is moved is for an absolute franchise goaltender and there really isnt one.
May 4, 2012 1:39 PM ET | Delete
Ya only way we get rid of Hedman is if Schenider is coming back are way for sure.
May 4, 2012 1:43 PM ET | Delete
Bob only got lit up in the playoffs because Philly has no defense without Pronger in the line up!
May 4, 2012 1:49 PM ET | Delete
I like Bob a lot but in my mind the Lightning should go with Tim Thomas because there is no great long term goalie option on the market this year. In 2013 it might be the best goalie FA's ever Schenider UFA if Luongo does not get moved! Mike Smith UFA dare I say it! Howard UFA Quick UFA ? Might be best to get Tim Thomas for 1 year and look in 2013 for a long term answer!
May 4, 2012 3:25 PM ET | Delete
Connolly
May 4, 2012 10:45 PM ET | Delete
If you want to trade a 1st rounder for Bobrovsky, I will drive him down to Tampa.
May 5, 2012 4:16 AM ET | Delete
I'll give you Detroit's first rounder for him! Signed, sealed, delivered.
May 5, 2012 6:25 AM ET | Delete
Tim Thomas idea just doesn't fly with me. He gets away with a lot because of the size throughout that line-up. His rebound control is iffy and that's something our young defense really can't help with at this point. Thomas is too old and a little bit of a loose cannon. All the UFAs mentioned will likely be locked up by their respective teams, unfortunately.
May 5, 2012 6:41 AM ET | Delete
If the flyers lose in the second round you might be able to get Giroux and Hartnell. Our gm trades our best players if we lose in second round not our back-up or role players.
May 5, 2012 7:57 AM ET | Delete
Hahaha. That's awesome! I maintain that Giroux is the most complete player in the game and if someone asked me who the best player in the game is, I would say him. Tired of watching the Crosby show that we got this year. Finally the hockey world took notice. Hopefully Giroux picks up his game here. If not, we'd love to have him :P Hartnell too.
atc
May 5, 2012 9:22 PM ET | Delete
I don't think he'd be the solution to Tampa Bay's goalie problems.Go after Luongo or Kipper.
May 5, 2012 10:26 PM ET | Delete
Kipper will cost a boatload to pry out of Calgary. Luongo is still my #1 priority if I'm Steve Yzerman. Still have to consider all the alternatives.
May 7, 2012 2:01 PM ET | Delete
If I am PH and at the tenth spot Griffen Reinhardt is available I give Tampa Bob and their first. Maybe throw in Harry Z.
May 7, 2012 2:12 PM ET | Delete
If Reinhart is available, there's no way Yzerman is giving up that pick for anyone but Cory Schneider. Bob's not worth anything close to a top-10 pick, especially one that could be Reinhart.
May 8, 2012 2:46 PM ET | Delete
I will give Bob a piggyback ride down 95 if we can get a 1st for him. Carle is unrestricted.
May 9, 2012 7:41 AM ET | Delete
at this point save the picks get Josh Harding in FA only trade picks if we can get Schenider
May 10, 2012 9:26 PM ET | Delete
People tend to forget Cory Schenider is a RFA this summer I could see Yzerman giving him a offer sheet for 4.7 million per season for 5 years! then we only give up a 1st and 3rd if they don't match. So good luck canucks trying to trade Luongo before July 1st.
May 11, 2012 7:10 PM ET | Delete
The Canucks have time to sign him between UFA time starting and when offer sheets can be made. Canucks would match that offer sheet in an instant, I would think. They'll get him signed before they trade Luongo. If they can't sign him, then he's fair game.
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