"There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in the release. "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."
The "incident" is believed to have occurred in Tampa Bay following the team's 4-0 loss to the Lightning (where Bobrovsky was pulled after the fourth goal), and prior to the team's flight out of town, sources told The Athletic's Aaron Portzline.
Members of the team's leadership group pulled Bobrovsky aside for a meeting on the tarmac before their departure, Portzline notes.
Kekalainen confirmed that the incident did not involve head coach John Tortorella.
"It's got nothing to do with the coach," Kekalainen said. "It's a decision we made as an organization. Obviously, we had the coach involved in that decision, but it's got nothing to do with Tortorella vs. Bobrovsky.
"People seem to be thinking there’s some kind of issue between the coach and the goalie. There's no issue."
In a corresponding move, the team recalled goaltender Jean-Francois Berube from the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League.
Bobrovsky is in the midst of a down year by his standards, having gone 18-13-1 with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage in 32 games. The 30-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent at the end the season.
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