COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Ryan Salmons, a Central Ohio native and former Hilliard High School hockey star, club General Manager Scott Howson announced March 25. As is club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We're very pleased to add a player of Ryan's caliber to our hockey club as he brings tremendous versatility to our lineup and can play either wing position or defense," said Howson. "He also has great character and is the type of person who inspires others with his courage, tenacity and positive attitude. We're lucky to have him on our team."
Salmons (pronounced SAL-muhns) began skating at the Chiller Ice Rinks when he was 10-years-old and began playing hockey at age 13 for the Hilliard Southwest club team. By 16, he was a star on the junior varsity squad. Initially a forward, as he grew and matured physically he moved to defense. His reckless and intimidating style of play resulted in numerous injuries – a separated shoulder and concussion to name a few – but also fed his passion and love of the game.
He has worn No. 3 throughout his hockey career in honor of his all-time favorite NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. Blue Jackets defenseman Marc Methot currently wears No. 3, but has agreed to turn it over to Salmons. "I typically wouldn't give up my number, but it is a small price to pay to add a player like Ryan to our team," said Methot. "The bottom line is he is going to help us win hockey games and that is all that matters."
Salmons is no stranger to the CBJ organization as he has attended numerous games at Nationwide Arena, including a game against Phoenix in which he met Coyotes Head Coach and Hall of Fame player Wayne Gretzky. He has also been active in Blue Jackets Foundation events such as the Black Tie. Blue Jackets. Fashion Show and the Flashes of Hope photo shoot.
"I know a lot of guys on the team already, including Manny Malhotra and Jason Chimera, and I'm really looking forward to playing with Jason as he is probably my favorite player,” said Salmons. "He is known as one of the NHL's fastest skaters, but I just hope he will be able to keep up with me when we're on the ice together."
"I'm definitely excited about playing with Ryan," said Chimera. "He just needs to make sure he puts the puck on my stick when I call for it. As long he does that, I'll score the goals and he can pick up a few assists along the way."