Brassard and Picard Signed

Derick Brassard signs a 4-year contract extension with the Blue Jackets to remain under contract through the 2013-14 season.

More information from the Dispatch regarding the Derick Brassard contract extension:

The contract has an annual salary cap hit of $3.2 million. Brassard will make $2.8 million in 2010-11, $3.0 million 2011-12, $3.3 million 2012-13 and $3.7 million in 2013-14, the final year of the contract.

Brassard will be a restricted free agent after the 2013-14 season.

This is a brilliant signing. With Brassard, of course there are injury concerns, but if he has half the year he was on pace for last year, he will be worth the money. A first line center for just over $3 million could turn out to be one of the best deals in the league halfway into this contract. 

The are many advantages to getting this deal done now. If he has a solid year on the first line between right-winger Rick Nash and left-winger Kristian Huselius, we don't have to worry about contract demands being too high next summer. (Manny Malhotra quickly comes to mind.) Also, there are no worries for offer-sheets. Although the strategy of using offer-sheets to sign players may be dead, it remains a possibility and we cannot afford to lose our most valuable center.

The injury concerns aren't too scary if you ask me. Look at Pascal Leclaire. We signed him to a pretty fair multi-year deal and he got injured ... again. But as a former first-round pick with a lot of potential, he still had value. Surely not as much had he been healthy, but we got Antoine Vermette out of it, who still yet may prove to be a bigger steal than most realize.

Now, onto the newest report...

According to the Columbus Dispatch:

Left winger Alexandre Picard has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with the Blue Jackets, The Dispatch has learned. The deal will pay Picard $865,700 if he plays in Columbus, and a far smaller figure if he plays in Syracuse.

This is it for Picard. He finished the year on fire in Syracuse with 21 goals in the final 22 games. Can he bring any of that spark into training camp? Does he now know what it takes to make it in the NHL?

Another former first-round pick, Picard has greatly adjusted his game from when he was first drafted. He went from being a scoring machine to a bit of a spark plug. But the fact remains that he's becoming a high-priced tweener that can't truly break into the NHL. With the third and fourth line spots available for the taking, Picard will have as good of a shot as any to earn ice time in Columbus. The question is, can he surpass Fredrik Modin, Jason Chimera, Andrew Murray, Derek Dorsett, or Jared Boll on the depth chart?

Let us know in the poll and comments what your thoughts are on these signings. Training camp is just over a week away!

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