The Columbus Blue Jackets made some big investments during this summer, spending big money to sign offensive defenseman James Wisniewski and sending quite the package to Philadelphia for Jeff Carter. While the team will look different next season, GM Scott Howson decided that one key member from previous campaigns will stay in the fold for the rest of his prime years. The Blue Jackets handed defenseman Fedor Tyutin a six-year extension worth $27 million, which works out to a $4.5 million annual cap hit.
Aaron Portzline reports that Tyutin will have a no-trade clause for the first three seasons of the new deal and then a modified no-trade clause from 2015-16 to 17-18. Portzline reports that the extension’s salary breakdown will look like this:
2012-13: $4 million
(Note: he’s currently in the final season of a deal that registers a $2.84 million cap hit.)
Tyutin turned 28 in July, which means that he’ll be 29 when that six-year deal kicks in. The all-around defenseman was the Blue Jackets’ leader in time on ice in 2010-11, averaging 22:42 minutes per game. That actually represents a slight decrease in time compared to his other two campaigns in Columbus; he averaged 23:31 minutes per game in both 08-09 and 09-10.
Tyutin scored 34 points with a +1 rating in 08-09 and 32 points with a -7 rating in 09-10 before seeing more downgrades in his numbers last season (27 points with a -12 rating). That being said, his numbers could improve if the team’s offense takes off with the additions of Carter and Wisniewski.
The deal might seem shocking at first because Tyutin isn’t exactly a household name, but he does carry a big workload and is one the Blue Jackets best defensemen in all areas of the ice. My only beef is that he received such a big salary for such a long term – couldn’t Columbus get a little extra relief for giving him six years and the added comfort of a no-trade clause?
Either way, the Blue Jackets aren’t being shy about making bold moves during this off-season. Of course, that go-for-broke mentality might not seem as exciting if the team parts ways with Howson in the near future, but at least the team isn’t stuck in idle mode after some disappointing seasons. If nothing else, they’ll be fascinating to watch next season and Tyutin should be one of their most important players.