Dear Sergei Bobrovsky,
As a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets, I would like to thank you for everything you have done and meant for the city of Columbus. You came to town when this team was down, and you helped make the Blue Jackets what they are today. A perennial doormat of the league became a perennial playoff contender. As a result, you will always be a Blue Jacket to the city of Columbus.
Sergei Bobrovsky: From the Beginning
When you came to Columbus via a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2012 no one could have guessed what would have happened. That being that you would become the face of the franchise, or that you would be the only Blue Jacket to finish in the top three for the Hart Trophy. Not only were you the face of the franchise, but you were also a key in turning this organization into a winning one. When you arrived, you made an immediate impact winning your first of two Vezina trophies with the team. That first season was also just the second time in franchise history that Columbus had made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You truly reinstalled life back into the franchise
A Record-Breaking Run
It comes as no surprise that you hold multiple records for the Blue Jackets considering you won two Vezina trophies here. In the 15 stat categories for a goalie, you hold the franchise record in 14 of those the only. The only Columbus record you don’t own is losses. You are the only Blue Jackets goalie to have more than one hundred wins, and you have 213. You’ve faced the most shots by almost three thousand shots and have the highest save percentage with .921. You also have the lowest goals-against-average with a 2.41. You also have the record for shutouts with 33 a 14 point cushion over Steve Mason.
These records are just another way to reiterate what you did and what you meant for this franchise. However, these are not something to be overlooked; you have established yourself to forever be remembered here in Columbus in a positive way. At any point in time, a Blue Jackets fan will be able to look in the Blue Jackets record book and see your name etched in the history. You were just the second real face of this franchise behind Rick Nash. In many eyes, you have already passed Rick Nash as the “Greatest Blue Jacket of All Time.”
The End of an Era
Now you have left the city of Columbus and started a new journey. The first time you come back to Columbus, there will be a video tribute and a round of applause. Immediately after that, the boos will start to rain down from the crowd. Do not let those boos fool you. This city will never forget what you did for the Blue Jackets. You helped make them relevant consistently for the first time. All of those records that were previously mentioned help prove that. You are the best player to ever walk in the doors of Nationwide Arena. The proof of that statement is in the pudding.
Eventually later in your playing career is the boos will stop. Once your playing career finally comes to a close, the question will be asked: “When will Sergei Bobrovsky’s number be retired?” Shortly after the number 72 will be hanging from the rafters in Nationwide Arena to forever immortalized what you did in this city. What you did for this city cannot be overstated, and a jersey retirement will be the most significant way to thank you for your time with this franchise.
Main Photo: COLUMBUS, OH – DECEMBER 15: Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) adjusts his helmet during a timeout in a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Anaheim Ducks on December 15, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH.(Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)