Tag: Matt Calvert

Ryan Johansen

It’s Columbus Blue Jackets day at PHT


After a stellar regular season and inspired playoff appearance in ’13-14, Columbus took a step backwards last year by finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference, and missing the postseason.

Though there were extenuating circumstances.

The Blue Jackets led the league in man games lost to injury, with 502. Nathan Horton, once the organization’s biggest free agent acquisition, didn’t play a single game before being traded to Toronto while Ryan Murray, the No. 2 overall pick in 2012, missed 70 of 82 games while dealing with a myriad of injuries.

Other key players, like Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky and Sergei Bobrovsky all missed extensive time as well. Despite that, there were bright spots — Ryan Johansen continued to post solid numbers, with a career-high 71 points, while Nick Foligno earned himself the club’s captaincy with a 73-point effort, tops on the team.

In the end, though, missing the playoffs proved a damaging blow to the momentum gained by their impressive run the year prior.

Offseason recap

Few teams made a bigger splash this summer. GM Jarmo Kekalainen stunned the league by acquiring budding Chicago star Brandon Saad, the 22-year-old power forward that won two Stanley Cups in his first three NHL seasons.

The Saad deal reverberated throughout the league. With him in the fold, Columbus created one of the youngest and most dangerous top lines in the NHL with Johansen (who only turned 23 in July) and whoever their running mate will be, be it Foligno or Scott Hartnell (or, possibly, 22-year-old Boone Jenner).

Elsewhere, the club added some veteran experience and leadership in the form of ex-Bruins forward Gregory Campbell. Kekalainen also re-upped with the likes of Matt Calvert, backup goalie Curtis McElhinney and depth d-men Justin Falk and Cody Goboulef.

At the draft, Columbus was a major player with three top-40 picks, and used them to select Michigan d-man Zach Werenski (eighth overall), Swedish blueliner Gabriel Carlsson (29th) and WHL Portland product Paul Bittner (38th).

Report: Blue Jackets sought to add top defenseman

Kevin Shattenkirk

If the Columbus Blue Jackets enter the 2015-16 campaign with largely the same defense as last season, it won’t be because they didn’t try to make a big change.

Per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch:

The Blue Jackets were in on trade talks concerning Dougie Hamilton before Boston sent him to Calgary, and they’ve contacted the St. Louis Blues about Kevin Shattenkirk. The Jackets also made a contract offer to free agent Paul Martin before he signed with San Jose.

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen plans to keep looking, but it’s worth noting that Columbus is only about $4 million below the ceiling after signing Brandon Saad and Matt Calvert, per General Fanager. That’s not to say that Columbus can’t still acquire a top defenseman, but it’s more likely that it would have to involve the other team either retaining salary or taking a contract in order to make things work.

As things stand, the Blue Jackets have one of the cheapest defenses in the league as their money has instead flowed to their forwards and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. That’s thanks in part to the fact that blueliners David Savard, Dalton Prout, Ryan Murray, and Kevin Connauton each come with a cap hit of $1.3 million or less, but all of them will be restricted free agents next summer and the raises they might demand has to also be a consideration.

So ultimately Columbus might stick with what it has and hope Murray can stay healthy as the 2012 second overall pick has run into serious injury problems early in his career.

“To me, getting him healthy would be the best addition any team has made this summer,” Kekalainen said. “It would make a huge difference for us.”

Jackets ink ‘heart and soul player’ Calvert to three-year, $6.6M deal


Columbus locked in one of its hardest-working forwards on Thursday, agreeing to a three-year, $6.6 million extension with left winger Matt Calvert.

Calvert, 25, will carry an average annual cap hit of $2.2 million on his new deal, a nice bump from the $987,500 he made on his previous one. The former WHL Brandon product earned his latest contract following a solid ’14-15 campaign, during which he scored a career-high 13 goals and 11 points in his final 18 games of the year.

“Matt Calvert is a heart and soul player, who works hard on and off the ice and is a relentless competitor at both ends of the rink,” Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a release.  “He’s been an important contributor to our team and we are excited that he will continue to be a part of our organization moving forward.”

The Calvert extension is the latest in what’s been a busy summer for Kekalainen. Last week, he pulled off the Brandon Saad blockbuster trade — then inked Saad to a six-year, $36 million extension. Kekalainen also inked former Bruins forward Gregory Campbell in free agency, re-signed d-men Justin Falk and Cody Goloubef, and goalie Curtis McElhinney.

Foligno, Jackets deliver blow to Pens’ playoff hopes

Anaheim Ducks v Columbus Blue Jackets

Nick Foligno scored his first career hat trick as the Columbus Blue Jackets erased a 2-0 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3.

Columbus has now won nine straight.

Pittsburgh has now lost two straight and failed to make up ground on the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins have a two-point lead on the Boston Bruins for the first wild card seed in the Eastern Conference.

Pittsburgh is 7-8-2 since March 1.

Trailing 2-0, Foligno scored his 28th of the season to get the Jackets on the board at 16:25 of the second period.

Less than two minutes later, Matt Calvert tied the game 2-2 with his 11th of the season.

Foligno gave Columbus its first lead of the game at 6:46 of the third.

After Scott Hartnell gave Columbus a 4-2 lead at 9:29 of the third, Ben Lovejoy got Pittsburgh to within one with his second of the season.

Sidney Crosby and Brandon Sutter had the other Pens goals.

Things got heated in the third as the Pens pushed for the equalizer.

Jack Johnson delivered a blow to Patric Hornqvist in front of the Blue Jackets net and picked up two minutes for roughing on the play.

Pittsburgh, who out-shot the Jackets 11-2 in the second half of the third, was unable to score on the ensuing power play.

Foligno completed the hat trick into an empty net with less than a minute remaining.

Trade target Calvert (concussion) out indefinitely, says Columbus

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Columbus forward Matt Calvert has suffered a concussion and will be sidelined indefinitely, head coach Todd Richards said on Friday.

Calvert, 25, has appeared in 49 games for the Blue Jackets this season, scoring a career-high 10 goals. That mark came on the heels of a solid 2013-14 campaign, during which Calvert posted another career-high — in points, with 24 — despite only appearing in 56 games.

Calvert was also one of Columbus’ top producers during last year’s opening-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh, scoring two goals and four points in six games.

A speedy winger with some skill, Calvert isn’t a household name but could be a pretty useful pickup — assuming teams are willing to take the risk of a player dealing with a concussion. A pending RFA, Calvert is making $987,500 this year, which is a pretty nice cap hit for clubs that are pressed up against the ceiling.

As for potential suitors, Winnipeg was rumored to be interested prior to acquiring Jiri Tlusty; reports also suggested Tampa Bay was looking into Calvert as well.