Columbus Blue Jackets Stun Hockey World With Major Signing

Johnny Gaudreau (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Johnny Gaudreau (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

We’re still not sure how, but the Columbus Blue Jackets just made a monster signing.

Day one of the NHL’s free agency period was as wild as one would expect, and Johnny Gaudreau, arguably the largest prize on the market, waited into the evening to announce his new home.

He had been linked to a handful of Metropolitan Division teams by the likes of Aaron Portzline of The Athletic and NHL Network, as well as other insiders, yet Columbus was not one of those teams.

Despite the rumors and the fact that the Blue Jackets were never really discussed as a favorite to land Gaudreau, he is very much heading to Ohio, and his deal is for seven years and $9.75 million per season.

Johnny Gaudreau has signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Gaudreau was tied for second in the NHL last season with 115 points (40 goals and 75 assists), making him an elite offensive weapon for the Jackets. In his career, he’s played 602 games and scored 609 points (210 goals and 399 assists), all with the Calgary Flames.

On the ice, this is a huge boost for a Blue Jackets team that exceeded expectations last year by competing for a playoff position into the second half of the season. Gaudreau now raises the Blue Jackets’ game to another level offensively, making them more dangerous this season.

His addition makes this team one that could be surprisingly competitive in the Eastern Conference playoff race. I am by no means suggesting that the Blue Jackets are playoff bound, but they certainly make an already-crowded East even more enticing.

The outlook for the 2022-2023 season would be even brighter for the Jackets if they could keep Patrik Laine in the mix. He is a restricted free agent, and he’d be a great complement to Gaudreau.

Off the ice, this is also a huge win. Columbus has one playoff series victory in franchise history thanks to only a handful of postseason appearances. Witnessing the biggest name on the open market choose to become a Jacket will hopefully do wonders for this organization.

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No one saw it coming, but Columbus picked up perhaps the largest win of the day as Johnny Gaudreau is now a member of the Blue Jackets.