The Columbus Blue Jackets have a long list of to-do items this offseason. On Tuesday, the team started to check off some of the boxes.
After a tough start to his season which saw Roslovic’s name appear in some trade rumors, he made sure to put his best foot forward in the second half. After costing his team a game in Calgary with a bad turnover, he took it upon himself to learn from the experience and get better. He ultimately finished the 2021-22 season as their top center. Now he’ll look to take the next step in his career.
New Contract a Win For Both Sides
Both Roslovic and GM Jarmo Kekalainen spoke to the media on Tuesday after the deal was announced. As you could imagine, both sides were happy with the outcome.
“It’s a good feeling to be able to have some security and stability in this town,” Roslovic said. “We’re excited and ready for the upcoming season. It’s just a great day.”
“Jack is an offensively gifted player with great speed and vision who has increased his production each season during his NHL career,” Kekalainen said of Roslovic. “He has made great strides in his all-around game, especially during this past season, and we are very pleased that he will continue to be an important part of our team as we move forward.”
Kekalainen went on to talk about the potential of arbitration and how they’ve yet to go that far with any of their players in his tenure. Once the two sides agreed to the length of the contract, it was easy to finish this deal off. Both sides felt two years was the right amount of time given the circumstances.
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Roslovic finished the 2021-22 season with a career high in goals, assists and points with 22-23-45 while playing in 81 games. He became more of a force on both special team’s units. He also showed improvement defensively. Although two years takes him right to UFA status, he gets a hefty raise and a chance to prove he deserves a long-term commitment.
The Blue Jackets now get two years to see if Roslovic can reach his full potential as a consistent top–six center. Not only does the term feel right for both sides, the dollars fit too. This leaves the Blue Jackets plenty of room to finish off the rest of their business. They still have over $22.8 million in cap room in which a good chunk of it will be taken up by Patrik Laine once that deal is done.
Overall, both sides come out as a winner in this deal because the length of the contract is manageable while keeping their cap flexibility in tact. It also shows that Roslovic is part of now and can be a part of the future in Columbus. It’s a fair deal when all things are considered.
- Kekalainen was asked about Laine’s status. He said that the deal would get done at the right time. He also said that they respect the process that agents have as it is different in every situation. There was nothing said to indicate that a deal won’t get done but time will be needed.
- Kekalainen also said that many of the injured, such as Laine and Boone Jenner would be ready for training camp in the fall. That’s good news for both given what they each went through.
- Roslovic said that his main job is to play hockey, but he would also have no problem being an advocate for the Blue Jackets in order to possibly convince someone to come to the team. He won’t force it down their throat but he will sell Columbus when given the chance.
- Roslovic also said the deal came together in the last month or so before signing on the dotted line.