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Columbus Blue Jackets Sign Defenseman Rostislav Klesla to a Four-Year Contract Extension through 2013-14 Season

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Rostislav Klesla to a four-year contract extension that will keep the club's first-ever Entry Draft pick with the organization through the 2013-14 season, General Manager Scott Howson announced October 3. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Klesla, 27, has registered 36 goals and 79 assists for 115 points with 456 penalty minutes in 444 career games with the Blue Jackets. The club’s first pick, fourth overall, in the 2000 Entry Draft currently stands second in franchise history in games played (David Vyborny, 543) and penalty minutes (Jody Shelley, 1,025) and is the club's all-time leader among defensemen in games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. In 2001-02, he was selected to the National Hockey League's All-Rookie Team.

"Rusty is an original Blue Jacket who over the years has grown and become a leader for our hockey club," said Howson. “It was important for our organization and for Rusty that he continue to be a vital part of what we are building here."

The Novy Jicin, Czech Republic native tallied 1-8-9, 38 penalty minutes and was +2 in 34 games in 2008-09. The previous season, he appeared in all 82 games and notched 6-12-18 and 60 penalty minutes with a career-best +7 plus/minus rating. In 2006-07, he set career highs in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes with 9-13-22 and 105 penalty minutes in 75 games. Prior to joining the Blue Jackets, Klesla registered 34-65-99 and 233 penalty minutes in 112 games with the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League from 1999-01.

The Jackets open the 2009-10 regular season tonight against the Minnesota Wild. Game time from Nationwide Arena is 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio HD 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, as well as online at BlueJackets.com.

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 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.

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