Huselius signs with Blue Jackets
It's a four-year, $19-million deal ($4.75-million cap hit) for the former Flames sniper.
This is a good choice for Columbus given Huselius is the only remaining proven 30-goal man who is still under 30. He's not as, shall we say, flaky as the outgoing Nikolai Zherdev and should mesh well with Rick Nash on a first line that will be halfway decent even if R.J. Umberger moves into the centre spot.
The Blue Jackets have more dollars to spend and were thought to be pursuing Brendan Morrison, but Tom Reed from the Columbus Dispatch reports they are out of the running for his services.
There aren't a lot of great options at centre among the remaining free agents, so a trade could be the avenue GM Scott Howson pursues.
Here's Howson on Huselius: “Kristian is a highly skilled player with good vision and hockey sense who has performed at a very high level throughout his career. We are very pleased to have a player and a person of his caliber join the Blue Jackets organization.”
It's a lot to spend, but he has more value than, say, Ron Hainsey, and Columbus didn't have a lot of options if he signed elsewhere.