COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Antoine Vermette to a five-year contract extension which begins in 2010-11 and continues through the 2014-15 season, club General Manager Scott Howson announced September 15. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Vermette, 27, has registered 87 goals and 93 assists for 180 points with 213 penalty minutes and a cumulative +16 plus/minus rating in 376 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators. He collected 16-25-41, 50 penalty minutes and was -7 in 79 games with Columbus and Ottawa in 2008-09, including 7-6-13, eight penalty minutes and +5 in 17 games as a Blue Jacket. He also finished the season ranked sixth in the NHL in faceoff percentage at 57.7 percent. He was acquired by Columbus from Ottawa in exchange for goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a second round pick in the 2009 Entry Draft on Mar. 4, 2009.
"We are pleased that Antoine has made this commitment to the Blue Jackets," said Howson. "His two-way game and versatility make him a good fit for our hockey club."
Vermette was Ottawa's second pick, 55th overall in the 2000 Entry Draft. He spent nearly seven years in the Senators organization and collected 64-61-125 in 240 games with the club between 2005-08, including a career-high 24-29-53 in 81 games in 2007-08. In 2006-07, he notched 19-20-39 in 77 games and added 2-3-5 in 20 playoff games to help Ottawa reach the Stanley Cup Final. He has appeared in 42 career Stanley Cup playoff games, tallying 4-4-8 and 28 penalty minutes.
A native of St. Agapit, Quebec, Vermette played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and registered 96-122-218, 227 penalty minutes and was +46 in 203 career games with Quebec and Victoriaville from 1998-02. He notched a career-high 57-62-119, 102 penalty minutes and was +50 in 71 games with Victoriaville in 2000-01 before missing most of the 2001-02 season due to a neck injury suffered at the Canadian National Junior Team Evaluation Camp.
The Blue Jackets open the 2009 preseason tonight when the club travels to Pittsburgh to take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins. Game time from Mellon Arena is 7:30 p.m. Live coverage on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM, Sports Radio 1460 The Fan and WWCD-FM, CD101.
The Blue Jackets open the 2009-10 regular season on Saturday, October 3, against the Minnesota Wild. Game time from Nationwide Arena is 7 p.m. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio will begin with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. The game will also broadcast live on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station WWCD-FM, CD101.
Blue Jackets single game tickets are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, The FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line Team Store at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, ticket outlets at the Chiller Ice Rinks and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. Fans can also purchase tickets by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and ticketmaster.com. Season tickets starting at $18 per game, as well as six-, 10- and 20-game packages for the 2009-10 season are also on sale. For information, call (800) NHL-COLS or visit BlueJackets.com.