Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen fell short of calling it a suspension during his statement Thursday afternoon, but said an “incident” occurred that led to the goaltender’s removal from the active roster prior to the contest against the Predators.
“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture,” Kekalainen said in a statement. “An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”
The 30-year-old Bobrovsky is 18-13-1 this season. He has a 2.87 goals-against average, .906 save percentage and two shutouts across 32 games.
Columbus recalled goalie Jean-Francois Berube from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters in a corresponding move and placed forwards Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) and Markus Hannikainen (upper body) on injured reserve.
Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella pulled Bobrovsky at 8:53 of the third period during Columbus’ 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. He allowed four goals on 19 shots prior to his exit.
Bobrovsky can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
“The release will speak for itself,” Tortorella told reporters after the team’s morning skate Thursday. “There’s no sense asking. And, as far as the players, I’ve already told the players there’s no sense in talking about it either. This will be handled inside. Jarmo and I will do the speaking on it if any more speaking needs to be done but the release speaks for itself.”
Backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo will start against the Predators.