COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed goaltender Pascal Leclaire to a three-year contract through the 2010-11 season, club General Manager Scott Howson announced July 30. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
"He is an important part of our team and we think he will continue to improve and play a significant role in helping us reach our goals." - General Manager Scott Howson
Leclaire, 25, is coming off his best NHL season in 2007-08 as he compiled a 24-17-6 record with a 2.25 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and nine shutouts in 54 games with the Blue Jackets. He ranked second in the NHL in shutouts, seventh in goals-against average and 11th in save percentage, while his record was the best in franchise history and his shutout total nearly doubled the previous club mark of five set by Marc Denis in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Following the season, he helped Canada win a silver medal at the 2008 World Championships, posting a 4-0-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and one shutout in four games.
"We're very happy to have signed Pascal to a new contract that will keep him with the Blue Jackets for the next three seasons," said Howson. "He is an important part of our team and we think he will continue to improve and play a significant role in helping us reach our goals."
Leclaire was the Blue Jackets' first pick, eighth overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He owns a 41-49-11 record with a 2.71 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 113 career NHL games. He spent most of his first three seasons with the Syracuse Crunch, Columbus's AHL affiliate, before joining the Blue Jackets early in the 2005-06 season. As a rookie that year, he was 11-15-3 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 33 games. He made 40 or more saves six times, which was tied for the most by a rookie goaltender since Mike Richter did the same with the New York Rangers in 1990-91. A knee injury limited Leclaire to 24 games in 2006-07 when he was 6-15-2, but he lowered his goals-against average to 2.97 and posted his first career shutout with a 38-save effort vs. the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 27, 2006.
The Repentigny, Quebec native played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 1998-02. He was 64-58-14 with a 3.40 goals-against average in 144 career QMJHL games with Halifax and Montreal. Leclaire also backstopped Canada to a silver medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships, earning Top Goaltender honors after going 4-1-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average.
Deposits are now being accepted for Blue Jackets season tickets for the 2008-09 season. New 10 and 20 game plans also are available starting at $240. For information on season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.