As the season draws closer, The Columbus Blue Jackets have made yet another move to solidify the teams top six players. Antoine Vermette was given a five year extension worth 18.75 million. This will pay the Jackets center around 3.75 million per season. He is due to make 3 million this coming season.
In my opinion, this was a move that was absolutely necessary. He will be a great penalty killer and a guaranteed second line center for every year of that contract. While not terribly physical, his tenacity with and without the puck, as well as his fantastic penalty killing abilities, this transfers into a truly logical deal. With Umberger set to make the same amount of money, it really makes sense to get the same average in the long run, and it will guarantee Vermette at a reasonable deal until he is 33.
It also takes another player off the 'to sign' books for the following year, relieving a lot of pressure off management, and giving some of the younger players a feeling that maybe they will be the next player to get signed.
Vermette, new to the Jackets last year, had 7 goals and 6 assists in 17 games to finish out the season. He also was a +5 and averaged just under 20 minutes per game.
Carry the Flag!