Upon his trade to Columbus, Nick Foligno said his top priority was getting a new contract worked out with the Blue Jackets.
Next step: take the nearest red pen and cross that item off the list. Foligno signed a three-year contract with the Blue Jackets this morning, ensuring that Scott Howson's latest trade acquisition is going to be in the union blue through the 2014-15 season. The deal is worth a total of $9.25 million over the three-year term, breaking down to $2.5 million in 2012-13, $3 million in 2013-14 and $3.75 million in 2014-15.
The Blue Jackets targeted Foligno because of his versatility and what they believe is burgeoning offensive potential. The Buffalo, N.Y. native can play all three forward positions and bounced around from the top line to the third line in Ottawa, proving that regardless of where he was slotted in the lineup, he was able to contribute and make a positive impact on the team.
|Nick Foligno (pictured) has a new three-year deal with the Blue Jackets. |
Howson admitted that while it was difficult to trade a young defenseman like Marc Methot, getting Foligno in return was the key to the deal. Senators GM Bryan Murray told reporters shortly after the trade announcement that their team felt it was a good "hockey deal," where each club gets something of value that makes their team better.
Foligno, 24, made $1.55 million last season in the final year of a two-year, $2.4 million deal which he signed in 2010. Coming off a career year of 15 goals and 47 points with the Ottawa Senators, it was important to Foligno to get a contract done right away so he could focus on getting settled in Columbus.
He recently said that he and his plan to make their way to town in the near future to check out places to live, get a first look at Nationwide Arena and its facilities and meet the Blue Jackets staff. Now that the paperwork is out of the way, the Folignos can begin to make travel plans.
The new deal carries him until the age of 27, meaning he will qualify for unrestricted free agency once it expires. The Blue Jackets view Foligno as a top-six forward that can play in all situations, and based on the statistical trajectory of recent seasons, there's ample reason to believe his offensive game is still blooming.
Ottawa employed Foligno on the power play and penalty kill, and routinely sent him over the boards in crucial situations to either protect a lead late in hockey games or seek out the game-tying goal. His two-way game was appealing to the Blue Jackets, making last weekend's trade a quick agreement for both parties.