Is Sergei Bobrovsky the Best Blue Jacket Ever?

By Sam Blazer on June 22, 2017 at 9:06 am
Sergei Bobrovsky smiles as he wins his second Vezina Trophy.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA Today Sports

It was a busy night for Blue Jacket personnel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Forward Nick Foligno came down with hardware and head coach John Tortorella won the Jack Adams Award. The most impressive win of the bunch came from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky winning his second Vezina Trophy.

The club of goaltenders that win just one Vezina Trophy is small. Now Bobrovsky joins an even tighter community of Vezina winners that have won the trophy more than once. Names like Bernie Parent, Gump Worsley and Johnny Bower litter the two-time winning lists.

All are hall-of-famers.

It is a weird list for Bobrovsky to be on as he has yet to hit the age of 30. Talking in that manner is a bit premature, yet you can narrow your scope and still put his accomplishments into context. 

Pairing it down more, does that put Bobrovsky into conversation as the best Blue Jacket player ever?

Looking back at the team history, it is more than depressing, it is downright sad. Not many players on the Blue Jackets have had much success and if they did, they didn't stick around the team for very long.

Because of the poor history, the list goes down to two players, Rick Nash and Bobrovsky.

Comparing one another is a tough task considering they play different positions. They assume different responsibilities. Both fall into separate categories when you begin to break down their impact.

Nash is far and away the best offensive weapon the Blue Jackets have had in their possession. No one has come close to his goal, assist and point totals since he has left and frankly, no one will get near them in the short-term. He was a one man wrecking crew and kept the team respectable when it had no right to be. Imagining any of the mid-2000's squads without him is nightmare fuel. 

The important distinction between the two is the notion of "best." 

Bobrovsky has posted seasons that are comparable to that of Dominik Hasek. He holds nearly every single goaltending record that the Blue Jackets have. He has had years that have won goaltenders Hart Trophy's in the past. He singlehandedly has led the Blue Jackets to their best stretch in the entire franchise's history. 

Best is a relative term. Nash was never the very best at his position while Bobrovsky has been. Bobrovsky was the first Blue Jacket to finish in the top three of Hart Trophy voting. In the pure skill category Nash keeps it close as he made a name for himself as a gifted winger but it doesn't matter as his goaltending compatriot tops the sport in his position. 

Longevity will help the short-term case for Nash. Nonetheless, Bobrovsky's pathway is secure and unless catastrophe strikes, he'll hold onto the mantle as best Blue Jacket for a while.

It is impossible to value what this goaltender from Russia has done for Blue Jacket franchise. An innocuous trade in 2012 started it all. "Bob" is a ways away from his swan song, it'll be fun to see how it ends up being written.

For now, he'll be known for what he is, the franchise's best.


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