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Bobrovsky won't discuss report he'd waive no-move clause for Blue Jackets

Goalie, disciplined by Columbus last week, can become unrestricted free agent July 1

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Sergei Bobrovsky declined to address a report stating he would waive his no-move clause ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline.

"I don't want to talk about that," the goalie said after practicing with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. "I don't want to make comments about that."

Bobrovsky can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Athletic reported Tuesday that he told the Blue Jackets months ago he would not stop them from making a trade and had provided a list of teams to which he would be willing to move.

"I'm not going to comment on it now," Bobrovsky said after practice Thursday.

The trade deadline is Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET

Bobrovsky said prior to the season that the Blue Jackets knew his intentions, and he hinted that he may not sign a contract with Columbus.

The report came five days after the 30-year-old missed a game against the Nashville Predators on Jan. 10 for failing to meet "certain expectations and values," according to general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

Bobrovksy was pulled at 8:53 of the third period of the previous game, a 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 8 but said the discipline had nothing to do with coach John Tortorella.

Kekalainen said it was not related to Bobrovsky's pending free agency.

"It has nothing to do with any of that stuff," Kekalainen said. "It was a just separate incident and we have to deal with it ourselves."

Video: NYR@CBJ: Bobrovsky stones McLeod to keep game tied

The Blue Jackets are 4-0-0 since Bobrovsky had to miss the game, defeating the Predators, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. Backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo has started three of the games, going 3-0-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .949 save percentage.

"He's a good goalie," Bobrovsky said about Korpisalo. "He's playing well for the team. It's good for him. It's good for the team."

Bobrovsky, the Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's best goalie in 2013 and 2017, won the game against the Rangers, allowing five goals on 27 shots.

Bobrovsky, who is 237-142-37 with a 2.48 GAA and .919 save percentage in 428 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers and Blue Jackets, started 65 of 82 games last season (79.2 percent) and Korpisalo started the other 17. This season, Bobrovsky has started 32 of 46 (69.5 percent) and Korpisalo has 14 starts.

"I was prepared for that. I prepared myself for the season," Bobrovsky said. "Every season brings some challenges. It doesn't matter what kind of situation, there will for sure be some challenges, there will be tough times, there will be fun times.

"There's ups and downs, lots of them, but it's important how you handle them."

Bobrovsky is 19-13-1 with a 2.93 GAA and .903 save percentage this season. Korpisalo is 9-2-2 with a 2.94 GAA and .902 save percentage.

Tortorella did not name a starter for the game against the Montreal Canadiens at Nationwide Arena on Friday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, RSN2, RDS, NHL.TV).

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