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Blue Jackets sign Ryan Craig, Jeremy Smith and Cody Bass to two-way contracts

by Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Cody Bass and goaltender Jeremy Smith to one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contracts for the 2013-14 season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Bass, 26, appeared in 18 games with the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons in 2012-13, tallying 2-5-7 with 54 penalty minutes and a +4 plus/minus rating. Signed by Columbus as a free agent on July 12, 2011, he has appeared in 48 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators, recording 2-3-5, 66 penalty minutes and 50 hits.

Ottawa’s third pick, 95th overall, at the 2005 NHL Draft, Bass has appeared in 212 career AHL games with Springfield and Binghamton, registering 23-34-57 and 413 penalty minutes. He won the Calder Cup with Binghamton in 2011, the same year he received the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the AHL’s Man of the Year.

Nashville’s second pick, 54th overall, at the 2007 NHL Draft, Smith has spent the past three seasons with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals after backstopping the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones to a Kelly Cup Championship in 2009-10. The 24-year-old has a career AHL record of 66-46-7 with a 2.39 GAA, .916 SV% and eight shutouts in 128 games with Milwaukee.

A native of Dearborn, Michigan, Smith represented the United States at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championships, registering four wins, a 2.40 GAA and .894 SV% in six games. As a member of the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers in 2007-08, Smith was the co-recipient of the Dave Pinkney Trophy in recognition of having recorded the league’s lowest team GAA and also captured the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champs.

The Blue Jackets have also signed forward Ryan Craig to a two-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract through the 2014-15 season, Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Craig, 31, spent the 2012-13 season with the Springfield Falcons, Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 27 assists for 47 points with 71 penalty minutes and an even plus/minus rating in 75 games. He also served as the Falcons’ team captain and tallied 2-2-4 in eight Calder Cup Playoff games.

Originally selected by Tampa Bay in the eighth round, 255th overall, of the 2002 NHL Draft, Craig has appeared in 190 career NHL contests with the Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins, registering 32-31-63 and 148 penalty minutes. The 6-2, 221-pound center has also recorded 117-131-248 in 458 career AHL appearances with Springfield, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Norfolk and Hershey.

A native of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Craig played for the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings from 1997-2003, tallying 137-131-268 in 302 appearances. He was named the Canadian Hockey League’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2002-03 and scored 42 goals that season, which was tops on the Wheat Kings and the sixth-best mark in the WHL.

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