So you want to be an NHL general manager? Consider the plight of Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who has been steadily building a deep and dangerous roster in Columbus, only to find out this summer that the team’s two best players – winger Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky – are probably gone after this season, if not sooner.
Panarin has drawn the most headlines because he’s been the most public, but it’s easier – not easy, but easier – to replace a top-end left winger than it is to replace a franchise goalie, one who has two Vezina Trophies in his collection. And the situation with Panarin, while bleak, hasn’t gotten nearly as personal or awkward as it has with Bobrovsky.
First, some background. Bobrovsky, perhaps more than any other player, has played a major role in the...
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