The player in photo is Sheldon Brookbank, the first official transaction in the GM career of Scott Howson. The Blue Jackets signed Brookbank to a reasonable contract on July 2nd, a couple of weeks after Howson got the job. The negotiations were probably underway before Howson got there, and any reasonable assessment of this summer’s BJ moves would have to include a giant asterisk to explain that Howson just got there, but he seems to be settling in quietly and making some very nice buy low moves:
- Brookbank is 6-2, 200, not terribly skilled but has toughness and plays a simple game. He’d be a guy the Blue Jackets might use this winter in the 5-6 role on the blueline, or maybe he spends another season in the minors. They got him for $500k.
- He also resigned Ole Kristian Tollefsen. He’s a big guy who can hit and looks like he has a brain out there. Tollefson is an intriguing player. 2-year deal averaging $675k.
- Same day he signed Alexander Svitov. Svitov was an rfa, he’s got all kind of potential and a wide range of skills, he’s a guy Hitchcock might light a fire under. Two year deal averaging $1.125M.
- First UFA signing was Jiri Novotny. He’s a good gamble at the price, former first rounder is a big center with some skill and he’s young (24 later this month). Washington didn’t qualify him and it isn’t like he’s going to score 50 but he’s a nice bet. Two year deal averaging $750k is a good price.
- Signed D Jan Hejda. I’m going to call inside knowledge here, but this was a nice signing. Hejda impressed pretty much everyone with his play as an Oiler and at age 29 he’s a player who can contribute right away for Columbus. One year deal at $1M.
- They signed Jakub Voracek, their very nice first round pick in this summer’s draft. There were lots of knowledgable Oilers posters who liked him for the EDM pick at #6. They also drafted Maxim Mayorov ahead of EDM later in the draft, and a small kid named Stefan Legein who scored 43 goals in the OHL this past season and a kid from Dublin, Ohio (Trent Vogelhuber).
In the paper today (Columbus Dispatch) comes this in regard to veteran David Vyborny:
“I’ve talked to David and I’ve talked to his agent, Rich Winter,” general manager Scott Howson said. “David has expressed an interest in staying in Columbus for the long term. That was nice to hear.”
Vyborny, a right winger, is the franchise leader in games played (477), points (291) and assists (185). He’ll make $2.2 million this season.
“David has made a decision that he’d like to stay in Columbus as long as the Blue Jackets would like to have him,” Winter said.It’s likely an extension will be agreed upon by the midpoint of this season.”I told Rick that we’re going to get through the first part of the year, then have a discussion,” Howson said. “I have to get to know the players better before I start thinking long term with the veterans.”