"Columbus was the first team to call, which is always nice," Aucoin told the Columbus Dispatch. "A lot of other teams were going after really big fish and waiting to see what happened. But Columbus made it clear that they wanted me and they had a role for me right away."
Aucoin, who turns 39 Tuesday, totaled two goals and nine points in 64 games in his third season with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2011-12, his lowest total since playing in 33 games with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2005-06.
The Jackets were seeking a veteran presence along the blue line following the trade of Marc Methot to the Ottawa Senators. Aucoin has spent 16-plus seasons in the League with six different clubs. He has 121 goals and 395 points in 1,072 career games.
It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.
— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. on Friday