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Rotoworld Player News

  • CLS Right Wing #52
    Emil Bemstrom has signed a two-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
    The deal, which was announced on Wednesday, has an average annual value of $900,000. “Emil is a skilled and offensive forward who has the ability to find the back of the net with an accurate shot,” said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “He is young and still developing but we believe he has a lot of potential to become an important part of our organization over the next few seasons.” Bemstrom notched six goals, 11 points, 62 shots and 36 hits in 41 games during the 2021-22 season. He averaged just 10:31 of ice time per contest.

  • CLS Right Wing #64
    The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Trey Fix-Wolansky to a one-year, two-way contract.
    Fix-Wolansky had 15 goals and 33 points in 53 AHL contests in 2021-22. He also had a goal and an assist in six games with Columbus.

  • CLS Right Wing #29
    Patrik Laine is pumped to play alongside Johnny Gaudreau.
    Laine couldn’t believe it at first when he heard Gaudreau signed with Columbus, but he’s thrilled that it happened. “I couldn’t be more excited right now,” Laine said. “Like I said to Lars and Jarmo when they signed Johnny (Gaudreau), I told them I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to play hockey and maybe be able to play with this kind of guy.” Laine has since signed a four-year, $34.8 million contract with the Blue Jackets, setting the stage for those two to headline the team next season.

  • CLS Right Wing #29
    Patrik Laine has signed a four-year, $34.8 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
    The Blue Jackets are a risk here. Laine’s skill isn’t in question, but he’s had an inconsistent career. He’s coming off a strong campaign though where he scored 26 goals and 56 points in 56 contests. He’s also just 24-years-old, so the Blue Jackets are doubtlessly hoping that his previous struggles were growing pains and his future will be bright.

  • CLS Left Wing #13
    Johnny Gaudreau was close to signing with the New Jersey Devils.
    “I think I was trying to get a deal done with the Devils and then Columbus called, and I was like, ‘I want to go here,’” Gaudreau said on the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast. Gaudreau recounted that he hadn’t heard from the Blue Jackets until 4pm on the first day of the free agent period. It sounds like had Columbus not acted when they did, Gaudreau would have ended up with the Devils. Obviously that’s not what happened though.

  • CLS Left Wing #13
    Johnny Gaudreau plans to do something to “thank Calgary and everyone for how special it was to me.”
    Gaudreau didn’t give specifics on what he had in mind though. Gaudreau was a huge part of the Flames for eight seasons and naturally was a fan favorite while he was playing for Calgary. That said, there are doubtless many Flames fans who are upset that he ultimately decided to leave Calgary to play in Columbus, especially after reports that the Flames were offering him a bigger contract. It will be interesting to see how fans in Calgary react the first time he plays there in a Blue Jackets jersey.

  • CLS Right Wing #29
    Patrik Laine didn’t elect for salary arbitration prior to Sunday’s deadline
    Not going for salary arbitration can provide some leverage for players in contract talks by either accepting their qualifying offer or leaving the option open for a potential offer sheet. It has been reported that Laine’s negotiations with Columbus have been slow, but it’s believed that the talks have been friendly.

  • CLS Left Wing #13
    Johnny Gaudreau is excited to start his next chapter with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
    “Throughout the process, I did my homework on places that I felt were good for me,” said Gaudreau after he signed a seven-year, $68.25 million contract with Columbus. “I talked to some former players and after hearing some things, every time I talked to a different person about this city, it seemed like the person I was talking to was more excited than the last person I was talking to. It sounded like a perfect spot for us. We are so excited, and it’s going to be a special place for us, I think. It’s hard not to like what we’ve seen already today. It’s been great.” He sees plenty of potential and he is looking forward to getting started with the group.

  • CLS Left Wing #13
    Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes that Johnny Gaudreau hoped to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers.
    It certainly came as a surprise when Gaudreau signed with Columbus and he feels he did his homework and found the ideal spot for himself. Still, Friedman’s thoughts on the matter will probably anger most fans of the Flyers. “This is what I think happened — (Gaudreau) wanted to go to Philadelphia,” said Friedman on the latest 32 Thoughts podcast. “Philadelphia was his No. 1 choice. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Once Calgary was done, he wanted to go to Philly.” However, the Flyers did not make Gaudreau an offer. “I think there were people in Philly who wanted Gaudreau, and liked the idea of Gaudreau coming in there and energizing the market and selling tickets and everything, and I do think that was discussed,” continued Friedman. “However, there was also a debate in Philly about — we were 40 points out of the playoffs. Does Johnny Gaudreau alone, taking all of our cap room, solve that problem? That’s No. 1. No. 2, I think the Ryan Ellis situation really made them think, ‘If we don’t have Ryan Ellis, we have to find defensemen.’ And they made a business decision that there were other things they had to do.”

  • CLS Defense #77
    Nick Blankenburg has signed a two-year, $1.65 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
    “Nick is a hard-nosed, competitive, smart defenseman who really impressed us after his arrival late last season,” said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “He has great potential, and we are very excited to watch his continued growth and development with our club.” Blankenburg had one goal, two assists, 13 shots, 12 blocks and 19 hits in seven games for Columbus last season after he turned pro from the college ranks.