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Vezina winner Bobrovsky signs deal to stay with Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky squirts water on his face during a break in the play of their NHL hockey game against the Vanc
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky squirts water on his face during a break in the play of their NHL hockey game against the Vanc

(Reuters) - The Columbus Blue Jackets and Vezina Trophy winning netminder Sergei Bobrovsky reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension, the National Hockey League team said on Monday.

Bobrovsky, who will be a top candidate for the starting assignment in the Russian net at next year's Sochi Olympics, was set to become a restricted free agent on July 5 but will remain in Columbus after signing a deal worth $11.25 million according to local media reports.

"I'm very happy to be a Columbus Blue Jacket," Bobrovsky said on the team's website. "I'm looking forward to the season and working with my teammates to help us to our goal of winning a Stanley Cup."

Acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers in June, 2012 for a second and two fourth round draft picks, Bobrovsky had a spectacular first season with the Blue Jackets becoming the first Russian-born netminder to win the Vezina - the award that goes to the NHL's top netminder.

In last season's lockout shortened campaign, Bobrovsky posted a record of 21-11-6 and the NHL's second best save percentage of .932.

"Re-signing Sergei Bobrovsky was a top priority for our organization and once again ownership has given us the resources to build a winning team," said Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. "Bob is a terrific player and an outstanding young man with a work ethic that is second to none and was a well-deserved winner of the Vezina Trophy this season as the NHL's top goaltender.

"He was a big part of the progress we made last season and we expect him to play an important role in the growth of our team."

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by Simon Evans in Miami.)

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