In a bit of unexpected good news, the Blue Jackets announced that they've come to terms this morning with pending UFA Brandon Dubinsky on a six year contract extension.
Terms haven't been announced yet, but Dubi was due to make $4.2 million in the 2014-15 season, the final year of the deal he signed with the New York Rangers prior to the Rick Nash trade.
Dubinsky has been vocal about how much he likes playing in Columbus, and that he wanted to remain part of the team's "core group."
The deal will carry him through the 2020-21 season, and gives the team a solid 2nd line C in the prime years of his career who can be a threat with or without the puck. If I had to guess, I'd expect that we'll find out the deal is in the $32-36 million range, putting him in the same salary tier as the recently acquired Scott Hartnell or Nathan Horton.
Edit: ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that Dubinsky will be making an AAV of $5.85 million / year with a No Move / No Trade clause. That puts the total cost of the deal at just over $35 million when all is said and done.
One of the players who wore a rotating "A" during the year, and who was frequently acting as a "voice" for the dressing room to the fans and media, there's a lot of speculation that the press conference announced for 11am today will include awarding him the Captaincy to go with the long term extension, but that's only fan speculation at this point - the team continues to be incredibly cagey about their leadership group, but I have to admit that if you're going to hand it out at this point, giving it to a guy who just made a big long term commitment makes a lot of sense.
The last interesting tidbit in this signing is the fact that Dubinsky's agent, Kurt Overhardt, also represents current RFA Ryan Johansen. Perhaps we'll see some movement on that front now, particularly since this seems like the perfect "real world" example of how the club is willing to follow a shorter term deal with a longer term reward.
As mentioned earlier, the team will be holding a presser at Nationwide today at 11, and we'll update you with any news that comes our way.