Exciting news out of the Blue Jackets front office in the middle of our week as restricted free agent Artem Anisimov has signed a three year contract extension. This deal will lock him in until the end of the 2015/2016 season, at which point he will become an unrestricted free agent at the age of 28.
His most recent contract, a two year, 1.875m average cap hit, saw him play to very solid depth potential. Being utilized in a scoring role as well as a defensive role, Anisimov proved that he is a multi faceted asset worth a decent raise. He also managed to impress the fan base quickly, showing that he could be a great asset to the team both on and off the ice.
The contract totals 9.85 million, averaging a cap hit of 3.283 million per year. A reasonable increase in salary for how effective he has been for the club since being acquired for franchise winger Rick Nash last year. He scored 11 goals and 7 assists in 35 games with Columbus, despite battling a series of seemingly unfortunate injuries throughout the course of the season.
Arty was no stranger to highlight reel goals, bringing hope to the fans of Columbus as early as game one, on the road, against Nashville.
Some would argue his backhander alone was worth the 3.2 cap hit, as fans enjoyed it on numerous occasions throughout the season. His shot often times got the crowd to their feet in the shootout. Nothing fancy, but seriously accurate and coming at the right time.
I see this move as a great depth signing for the team where Arty can work in a two-way role and produce offense at key moments to support the rest of the offense. He has all the flash you could want, and I look forward to seeing him improve on that in the next three years. While I would have preferred the the contract to be a year or two longer, I am pleased that an asset of his abilities will only take 3.2 away from the team cap.
Carry the Flag!