The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Friday that they have re-signed defenseman Grant Clitsome to a two year contract worth a total of $2.5 million. Clitsome was a pending unrestricted free agent coming off his first season that saw him spend considerable time at the NHL level. The former 9th-round draft pick had spent the last two seasons primarily in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Springfield Falcons and Syracuse Crunch. Clitsome was recalled from Springfield on January 9th following the banishment of defenseman Mike Commodore. He provided a spark to the Jackets moribund power play and played consistently well garnering 4-15-19 in only 31 games. “Clitter” as his teammates call him will earn $1.1 million dollars in 2011-12 and $1.5 million in 2012-13, a very manageable salary for an underrated defenseman who has the potential to put up 40-50 points over a full season.
This signing could signal that Blue jackets general manager Scott Howson does not plan on re-signing restricted free agent defensemen Anton Stralman and Sami Lepisto as Howson has made it known he plans on overhauling the defensive corps of the Jackets. The signing brings the team to a total of three NHL defensemen under contract with Fedor Tyutin and Kris Russell already under contract for 2011-12.