Where there's smoke...
Listen, we're probably a ways off from the Blue Jackets making any sort of decision on how they'll handle the situations of Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin.
But the conversation is certainly picking up league-wide.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post, a generally well-connected guy (despite his previous run-ins with Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella), provided more detail in a Monday report that links the Blue Jackets with the Florida Panthers in a potential Bobrovsky trade ahead of the Feb. 25 deadline.
Panthers interested in dealing for Bobrovsky as prelude to enticing him to sign what would be an 8-year extension. Brassard would likely be part of package going to Columbus in return, we're told.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) February 4, 2019
There's the catch, it appears: the Panthers don't want to let Bobrovsky get to the open market, because they wouldn't be able to offer him eight years. If they acquire him before the deadline, as a Panthers player they can sign him to an eight-year deal instead of seven. If Bobrovsky is amenable to playing in south Florida, it would behoove him to approve a deal and acquire some extra security.
From the Panthers' perspective, it's risky. Bobrovsky hasn't been his normal self this season (.901 save percentage in 35 starts) and would be signing a contract that takes him to his age-38 season.
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