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Is it worth it for Blues fans to get worked up about Sergei Bobrovsky?

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The Jackets goaltender appears to be unhappy. He’s also a pending UFA.

NHL: Preseason-St. Louis Blues at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

In case you’ve been living in a hole for three seasons, Blues fans aren’t happy with the concept of Jake Allen as their franchise goalie. It’s understandable. Despite flashes of talent, Allen has been horribly inconsistent. Since a solid 2015-2016, Allen has dropped in performance: 2016-2017 saw him put up a .915 SV% and a 2.42 GAA, 2017-2018 has a .906/2.75 line, and this season is at .897/3.04. Allen survived January with a 2-3-0 record and a .874 SV% and a 2.88 GAA. He was saved by the All-Star Break and an extended bye week. It was a slight improvement over last January, where he went 0-2-0 with a .871 SV% and a horrendous 4.93 GAA.

To be honest, if you look nearly every category of Allen’s Hockey Reference page, it’s not that of an NHL starter. The non-starter is also signed to a contract that has $4,350,000 a season remaining for two years past this one. There is little to no way another team will look at that contract, and those stats, and go “yeah, that’s an upgrade.”

Sergei Bobrovsky wants out of the Blue Jackets. That’s pretty clear. He’s having the worst season he’s had since his last one in Philadelphia (currently he has a .901 save percentage and a 3.01 GAA). He’s also won two Vezina Trophies, ranks sixth among active NHL goalies in save percentage, and the only major eyebrow raising factor is his playoff play, which may well be a product of the team that he is on versus entirely how own issue.

The Blue Jackets will probably shop him at the trade deadline so they’ll get something for him. To let him walk without getting anything in return would be irresponsible - but the Jackets also need to take this year’s playoffs into consideration. Letting Bobrovsky (and fellow discontented player Artemi Panarin) go during the season would completely hamstring their playoff hopes. They’re in an awful position.

The Blues won’t be benefiting from it come February. They don’t have the cap space for Panarin unless someone actually really does take Jay Bouwmeester. No one is going to take Allen’s stats at that price point. The Blues may be able to finagle Panarin in the off-season if he becomes a UFA, but even as a UFA Bobrovsky is a non-starter unless the Blues can get someone to take Allen’s contract.

Doug Armstrong dumped bad deals last post-season, but goalies aren’t third liners. Teams expect investment in quality, and they expect return. Allen hasn’t provided either for the Blues; why would anyone else want to take a shot?