Peca joins Blue Jackets
Unrestricted free-agent center Michael Peca has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Blue Jackets.
Peca, reached Tuesday night, said he was done waiting on the New York Rangers, his first choice, and looking forward to being a Blue Jacket.
“We had a deal in place with the Rangers for almost three weeks now,” Peca said. “It just doesn’t seem like the commitment has been there from the general manager (Glen Sather) to get it done.
I like the move from Columbus's perspective, as the team desperately needs a few more solid contributers up front this season. The team's penalty killing, a strength before the lockout, has been downright terrible the past two seasons, and fixing that will be a top priority for coach Ken Hitchcock.
That said, Peca played big PK minutes when healthy for the Maple Leafs last season (second to only Sami Pahlsson minutes per game among forwads) and the numbers weren't pretty. He's been a little injury prone in recent years, is 33 years old and isn't really much more than a 40-point contributer at this point.
My guess is he's likely asked to do more than he should in Columbus, but at least they've got a solid veteran to ask. This may decrease the chance we'll see Derick Brassard in the NHL this season (and maybe the lesson was learned with Gilbert Brule last season).
In any event, this franchise has to make some sort of a move toward playoff contention in the near future, and I can't see it happening this season — even though there've been some strides on the blue line and in goal. Goal scoring remains the team's Achilles' heel and Peca doesn't help there.
Hang in there Jackets fans; at some point, things will go your way.
- Spector has more on the signing, including some references to coach Ken HitchBLEEP. Heh — such language, Lyle.
- Eric McErlain makes the point that Peca's likely only a Blue Jacket until the trade deadline, which would seem to make sense.