Goloubef Signing Gives Glimpse Of Immediate Future

Check off one of the main UFA’s on the Blue Jackets list.

On Thursday afternoon, the Blue Jackets and pending free agent defenseman Cody Goloubef agreed to terms on a new 2-year deal.  The deal is reportedly worth $1.5 million over the 2 years.  He will earn $700,000 in 2015-2016, and $800,000 in 2016-2017.  It is a one-way deal.

Goloubef expressed his excitement in remaining in Columbus.

“I’ve grown with these guys and in this organization.  This is where I wanted to be, and the feeling was mutual”, Goloubef said of his new contract.  “(Unrestricted free agency) wasn’t something I really wanted to do.  I know where I want to be.  I like what we’ve got going here and it’s going to be a winning team.  I want to be a part of it.”

The way Goloubef ended last season left an impression on management.  After returning from a knee injury, Goloubef played in 36 games.  He became one of the regulars on defense during the Blue Jackets final stretch, which saw them finish the season on a 16-4-1 tear.  Goloubef recorded 9 assists and a +12 rating in his 36 games.

Goloubef’s Immediate Future

This new contract for Goloubef is his 1st one-way contract.  This however doesn’t guarantee immediate playing time.  He will have to earn his spot in training camp, against some stiff competition.

With the likes of David Savard, Ryan Murray, Jack Johnson, Fedor Tyutin, Kevin Connauton, Dalton Prout, and Justin Falk also in the fold, Goloubef will have to show that he is ready for a full-time role.  He knows that this is only the beginning.

Johnson Goloubef
Goloubef will have to earn his roster spot against incumbants such as Jack Johnson. [Photo: Amy Irvin]
“I just wanted a chance to prove to them that I could be a regular in the NHL.  But I know I still have work to do.  I’m going to keep the attitude that has gotten me this far.”

The one thing that Goloubef does have going for him, is the fact that he is only 1 of 3 right-handed defensemen on the Blue Jackets.  If the team wants to keep a balance of lefties and righties, Goloubef would fit right in.  If he does make the team out of camp, he is projected to play on the 3rd defensive pair.  If he plays the way he did last season, that 3rd pairing could be one of the better ones in the league.

Goloubef’s underlying numbers suggest that he has the chance to be one of the better defenders on the Blue Jackets.  He finished with an even strength CF% of 50.17%, which was the highest of all Blue Jackets defensemen who played at least 20 games.

This was a good signing by the Blue Jackets, but now the onus is on Goloubef.  He will train this summer outside Toronto.  A good summer, followed by a good camp, could ensure his spot on the Top 6.  The roster spot is now his to lose.