Thursday, July 03, 2008

Huselius Moves to Columbus

Announced late on Wednesday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets added Kristian Huselius to their line-up, hours after they had moved forward Nikolai Zherdev to the Big Apple. Huselius signed a 4-year, $19 million deal with the club and becomes one of the team's top offensive weapons.

In Calgary, Huselius scored 25 goals and 41 assists in 81 games, but couldn't fit into the Flames' cash-crunch situation, so he was one that had to move this summer. He joins a list of new faces to join the club in Columbus, with the promise that it could very well be a better season for them in comparison to previous years. It likely won't be until the training camps being that we'll see how all these pieces will fit together, but going down the list, you can certainly see some improvements.

Just in the forward category alone, the additions of Huselius, Umberger and Torres gives the team improved scoring over the players they had separated themselves from in Zherdev, Fritsche and Brule. That's very promising. The additions of Tyutin, Backman and Commodore are also going to make the number one goalie's job a lot easier. This is finally turning into a club where head coach, Ken Hitchcock, can finally succeed.

Rick NashFedor TyutinFredrik Norrena
Kristian HuseliusRostislav Klesla
Jason ChimeraChristian Backman
Manny MalhotraMike Commodore
Jiri NovotnyKris Russell
Fredrik ModinJan Hejda
Raffi Torres

Jared Boll

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen

Derrek Brassard

With the new acquisitions in the trade and the signing of Huselius, the Columbus Blue Jackets are now becoming a solid team with a good salary base that will get them closer the floor. The team now has 17 players at $36.2 million, $4.5 million away from the floor of the salary cap constraints. The team has yet to sign Umberger and Leclaire, which should bring the team well over the floor level for safety.

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