The Blue Jackets' roster on the blue line took another step toward completion today, as The Dispatch is reporting that Marc Methot has been signed to a new four-year contract that will pay him $12 million in total. No word yet on how it breaks down year-by-year. [update] Aaron Portzline reports the deal is broken out as such: $2.25M in 2011-12; $2.75M in 2012-13; $3.25M in 2013-14; $3.75M in 2014-15. The contract also does NOT include any no-trade or no-movement clauses.
Methot was a restricted free agent that the Jackets had qualified, and though he did file for arbitration it was pretty clear that neither side wanted--or planned--to go that route.
"This is where I want to be and where I want to play," Methot said. "I'm comfortable here. I'm excited about where this team is headed, and I really wanted to make sure I was a part of that. I've made a lot of friends in Columbus, even outside of the hockey world.
"Giving up the free agency years was pretty easy for me, because I know where I want to be."
Methot is 26, and made $1.05 million as part of his previous two-year $2.025 million contract. He had 0 goals and 15 assists, and was +2 this past season in 74 games. For his career, he has six goals and 38 assists in 229 games played, and is +5 for his career.
To editorialize a bit, I'm glad they got him signed, but the number seems to be a bit large for my tastes. I think Methot is a decent player who (hopefully) has not yet reached his ceiling, but even still $3 million cap hit for four years seems to be too much for a guy who isn't a true shut-down defenseman and also isn't really a true offensive-threat defenseman.
With the way things have been going vis a vis the cap and salaries, who knows? Maybe in years three and four it will be a bargain. But there's also the chance that in years three and four it will be a high price to pay. One suspects the Jackets may have had to overpay given the way the FA market has gone since Friday, and also to cover the cost of buying out three of Methot's free agent years.
So, the NHL depth chart currently looks like this:
it looks as though the Jackets need just one more defenseman for the NHL roster, and possibly one guy from Springfield making the roster as the seventh man. Aaron Johnson looks to be in the mix there, as well.