January 10, 2019 | 10:21am ET



Sergei Bobrovsky, goalie


The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Thursday morning that Sergei Bobrovsky has been pulled from tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to an “internal matter,” prompting speculation over the goaltender’s future with the organization.

The team stopped short of calling tonight’s absence a suspension, but it certainly sounds like Bobrovsky is being reprimanded for something that recently occurred.

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a prepared 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.”

Bobrovsky has reported been at odds with Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella for a good portion of the season and this latest incident could be a result of that.

The 30-year-old netminder is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1 if unsigned.

There has also been speculation over Bobrovsky’s desire, or lack thereof, to sign an extension with the Blue Jackets, as his preference may be to test the free agent waters in July.

It’s too early to tell if this latest incident will result in the Blue Jackets exploring a trade involving Bobrovsky, or if this matter will simply blow over and cooler heads will prevail.

Bobrovsky has posted an 18-13-1 record with a 2.87 goals-against average, .906 save percentage and two shutouts in 32 games so far this season with Columbus.