Two weeks ago, Blue Jackets president John Davidson revealed the club was ready to institute a captain for the first time since Rick Nash departed three years ago, adding the player had already been chosen.
It’s expected that Nick Foligno will inherit the “C”. Earlier this month, the Dispatch suggested the 27-year-old is the favorite, especially after coming off a great campaign which he scored a career-best 73 points, signed a six-year, $33 million extension and was named a captain for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game — an event that Columbus hosted, and during which Foligno emerged as one of the faces of the franchise.
Others in the mix, according to the Dispatch, include Boone Jenner, Scott Hartnell, Brandon Dubinsky and Jack Johnson. Worth noting that Ryan Johansen wasn’t listed among the favorites.
Columbus has picked its new captain, says Davidson
Columbus has been without a captain since Rick Nash departed three years ago but, according to team president John Davidson, a Blue Jacket will have a “C” on his jersey this fall.
“We know who it’s going to be,” Davidson said, per Columbus Business First. “We’ll name a captain by the start of next season and that’s a step forward.
“He’s popped, he’s a person that’s carried himself with outstanding leadership.”
Per “informed speculation” from the Columbus Dispatch, Nick Foligno is the odds-on favorite to become captain (if there were odds on such a thing.) The 27-year-old is coming off a tremendous season in which he scored a career-best 73 points and was named a captain for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game — an event that Columbus hosted, and during which Foligno emerged as one of the faces of the franchise.
What’s more, Foligno will be with the Jackets for the long haul, having signed a six-year, $33 million extension in December.
Others in the mix, according to the Dispatch, include Boone Jenner, Scott Hartnell, Brandon Dubinsky and Jack Johnson — Ryan Johansen, interestingly enough, wasn’t among the “favorites” despite being arguably the team’s best player and biggest star. It’s possible his contentious holdout this past fall remains an issue; he’s also only 22 years old and has less than 300 games of NHL experience.
Stepan scores at end of third, OT to stop Jackets’ win streak at nine
This was a back-and-forth game, but with the clock approaching zero it seemed former Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky’s third period goal would prove to be the game-winner. It certainly looked like it would be after Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made an absolutely stunning save on a shot by New York defenseman Dan Girardi with less than a minute left in regulation time.
Bobrovsky’s heroics were spoiled though by a goal from Derek Stepan with roughly 28 seconds left.
Stepan did it again by scoring the winner with less than a minute remaining in overtime.
With that New York has won four straight games to improve to 51-21-7 this season. That winning streak has given them a clear edge in the Presidents’ Trophy race:
Take Cam Atkinson’s name off the trade deadline target list.
On Monday, the Jackets announced they’ve signed Aktinson to a three-year, $10.5 million contract extension, one that carries a $3.5M average annual cap hit.
Atkinson, 25, has been a solid contributor in Columbus over the last two seasons. He was a pending RFA — carrying a $1.15 million cap hit — and looked to be in line for a raise; Atkinson scored a career-high 21 goals and 40 points last year and is averaging over 17 minutes a night this season (another career-high).
The new salary breakdown, per ESPN:
Atkinson deal year by year, $2.5 M, $3.5 M, $4.5 M
In 58 games this year, Atkinson has 13 goals and 25 points. This new deal will keep him in Columbus through the 2018 season, making him a long-term guy along with the likes of David Clarkson, Scott Hartnell, Nick Foligno, Brandon Dubinsky, Fedor Tyutin and Jack Johnson.
Video: Jackets’ Johansen with an open ice hit on Crosby