Well, The Blue Jackets Have Been Busy

The Columbus Blue Jackets have spent the month of July in the re-signing phase. Let’s take a look at the key re-signings, and the lone superstar who has yet to re-sign his name on the dotted line.

Two more years for David Savard

Savard coming back is big for the Blue Jackets. At the very reasonable salary of $2.6 million over 2 years, Savard gives the Blue Jackets more depth at defense — currently, Savard rests behind Fedor Tyutin in salary at the right defender position. Last season, Savard earned 15 points  (5 goals, 10 assists) through 70 regular season games, and tallied an additional 4 points (all assists) in the playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Waiting on the investment

Tim Erixon came to Columbus in the Rick Nash deal in the summer of 2012. Since then, Erixon has only tallied five total points for the Blue Jackets – none of the points happening last season. Erixon played two games for Blue Jackets last season, and spent 40 games with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League (AHL).

A one year deal worth $600 thousand isn’t much of a risk for the Blue Jackets. If Erixon doesn’t pan out, he will be let go; but if he shows more growth, he could become a rising star for the Blue Jackets – and make the Nash trade look even better for the Blue Jackets. Speaking of that Nash trade…

The Future Has Re-signed

Brandon Dubinsky is the big re-signee of the offseason – so far. A 6-year/$35 million dollar deal is a big investment for the Blue Jackets, but a necessary one if Dubinsky is truly a part of the Blue Jackets long-term future. With the kind of extension Dubinsky received, it’s obvious that his role will increase in the organization – probably claiming the captain badge in the very near future.

Since coming to Columbus as part of the Nash deal, Dubinsky has collected a total of 70 points – and an additional 6 points in last seasons’ playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. With that kind of production, Dubinsky was given the big bucks. Now, it’s time for him to duplicate the production in the coming years, and prove that he was definitely worth the money.

This upcoming season, Dubinsky will finish off his original deal – a deal worth $16.8 million over 4 years – and make $4.65 million before he delves into his extension contract that yields $5.85 million per year.

The Future Hasn’t Re-signed

Ryan Johansen hasn’t re-signed. A while back, I discussed the whole Johansen situation, and what it would take for the Blue Jackets to maintain his services for the long term.

But here we are, almost to August, and a deal hasn’t been signed. To be the negative Nancy even more, Johansen is the last of the main roster Blue Jackets to still have the Restricted Free Agent (RFA) tag next to his name for this season.

The offer sheet for Johansen is just south of $2 million, but somewhere in the neighborhood of $4-5 million will be needed to keep Johansen in Columbus. Johansen was responsible for a staggering 63 points last season — a major reason for the Blue Jackets arrival to the playoffs — and was a work horse for the offense.

Johansen expects big cash, and the Blue Jackets are prepared to give up big cash within reason. The question is: can both agree to what ‘big cash’ is?