Saad, Jackets working on an extension ‘as we speak’

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are wasting little time trying to get newly acquired forward Brandon Saad inked to a new deal.

Jackets’ GM Jarmo Kekalainen told reporters on a conference call that they were working on an extension with Saad “as we speak”.

According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Saad’s agent Lewis Gross hopes to have a long-term extension signed tonight.

Saad’s three-year, $2.8 million entry-level deal expires tomorrow making him a restricted free agent.

Kekalainen also told reporters that an offer sheet on Saad prior to the trade was “not in our plans”.

Saad scored career-high 23 goals and 52 points in 82 regular season games with the Blackhawks. He added 11 points in 23 playoff games winning his second Stanley Cup.

As for where Saad fits in amongst the Jackets’ forward group, Kekalainen feels he’s a “very good candidate” to play on Ryan Johansen’s line next season.

According to Generalfanager.com, the Blue Jackets currently have $13.4 million in cap space to work with heading into free agency.

Related: Bowman on negotiations with Saad: ‘I don’t think we ever came close’