According to Dispatch Reporter Aaron Portzline's Twitter, and confirmed by the official Blue Jackets twitter feed (Press Release), scrapping Right Winger Jared Boll has agreed to a two year, $1.45 million deal that will pay him $700,000 this year and $745,000 in 2011-12, with a cap hit of $725,000.
It's actually a very slight pay cut from his previous entry level deal, but it's not hard to see why when you look at Lee Auer's excellent breakdown of comparable players over on The JacketsBlog. If anything, it's arguable that Boll's slightly overpaid.
That said, I think this is a good deal for both sides. Boll and his agent had to realize that arbitration was more likely than not going to hurt him, and Howson kept a player who has shown a surprising amount of offensive upside to go with his fisticuffs and agitating play.
In the best possible world, Arniel, Boughner, and perhaps even Dan Hinote work with Boll to help him refine both sides of his game - knowing when to take the gloves off, when to concentrate on clean hits, and how to convert a few more loose pucks into scoring chances - and that $725,000 could end up looking like a steal, particularly if Boll can raise his point production into double-digits.
In the worst case? We have a guy who is willing to fight, but perhaps could show better judgement on -when- to fight, and pops in an unexpected goal now and then. Even if he is a bit overpaid compared to a lot of the NHL "tough guys", he's not nearly as expensive to the team as Jody Shelley or Derek Boogard are to the Flyers and Rangers. Should he truly become expendable, his contract is cap friendly enough that I'd expect Howson to be able to find a trade partner, or to send him down the waiver wire to Springfield without too much distress.
With Boll's deal complete, that leaves Anton Stralman still on the clock. It will be interesting to see if the team can continue their record of never having to go into an Arbitration hearing.