Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jackets Sign Leclaire

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they re-signed coveted restricted free agent goaltender, Pascal Leclaire, to a new 3-year deal worth $11.4 million on Wednesday. The deal was a long time in the making, but both sides should obviously be glad it's all done and over with.

Leclaire, 25, had himself a stand-out season with the Blue Jackets, winning 24 games, 9 of them through the way of the shutout, and included 2 assists for a pool-point total of 68. That placed him just outside the top 50 in last season's rankings and could earn him a very high draft pick spot, in your local hockey pool. He should be going into training camp this Fall as the number one goalie in Columbus, which does make his minutes very valuable to the poolies that hold him on their team.

Although his salary is structured over the next three seasons, his salary cap hit will remain the same at $3.8 million per season. Good news for the Blue Jackets, if he becomes a bonafide superstar keeper, he'll become quite the bargain in town. His new signing and salary brings the Blue Jackets up to 21 players at a reasonable cap hit of $45.8 million.

They have made some good improvements to the team this summer, but they'll need a big year from Leclaire and Rick Nash, not to mention their new additions in Kristian Huselius and R.J. Umberger. The list for the Jackets is a little more exciting than past years, which could have them spread out among your pool teams quite well.

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