Blue Jackets ink Wisniewski to six-year deal
|James Wisniewski - MARTIN CHEVALIER/LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL/QMI AGENCY
COLUMBUS - The Columbus Blue Jackets officially brought defenseman James Wisniewski into the fold, signing him to a six-year deal on Friday.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but TSN.ca reported it to be worth $33 million.
"James is a player we identified very early on and we are thrilled to have him as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets," said club general manager Scott Howson. "He brings offensive skill and grit to our blue line, character to our dressing room and will be a key contributor to our hockey club."
The Blue Jackets acquired Wisniewski's rights from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft on Wednesday.
That pick now becomes a fifth-round selection in 2012 because Columbus was able to sign Wisniewski before the start of the upcoming season.
"My family and I are really excited to be a part of the Blue Jackets organization and I'm looking forward to getting to Columbus to help this team win games," said Wisniewski. "I think this is a team that is ready to take the next step and I'm excited to help us become a winning team and a Stanley Cup contender."
Wisniewski, 27, combined for 10 goals and 41 assists in 75 games with the Islanders and Canadiens last season.
Over 329 career contests with the Canadiens, New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks, Wisniewski has registered 27 goals and 121 assists.
The Blue Jackets also agreed to terms with goaltenders Mark Dekanich and Curtis Sanford on one-year contracts. The 25-year-old Dekanich was one of the top goaltenders in the American Hockey League in 2010-11, posting a 23-12-2 record with a 2.02 goals-against average in 43 games with the Milwaukee Admirals, the Nashville Predators' top affiliate.
Sanford, 32, has compiled a 37-37-11 record, 2.76 goals-against average, and five shutouts in 108 career NHL games with the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks during his 11-year pro career.