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Report: Blue Jackets lock up Derek MacKenzie for two years

May 29, 2012, 11:15 PM EST

Derek MacKenzie, Brendan Smith AP

Barring a near-miraculous change of heart, the Columbus Blue Jackets will look very different merely by trading Rick Nash this summer. Still, there will be some familiar faces, with Todd Richards getting the “interim” tag removed from his job title and depth players getting locked up.

Aaron Portzline reports that Derek MacKenzie is that next fringe guy to ink a new deal, as the team is expected to announce a new two-year deal on Wednesday. MacKenzie’s physical was significant because his 2011-12 season was marred by concussion issues.

Beyond the obvious Nash question, Portzline reports that re-signing MacKenzie narrows GM Scott Howson’s off-season “to-do list” down (assuming he’s the one doing things still, of course).

MacKenzie’s signing leaves the Blue Jackets with two free agent priorities before July 1 – defenseman Nikita Nikitin and right winger Jared Boll, both restricted free agents. The Jackets may pursue a two-way deal with goaltender Curtis Sanford, depending on what other changes happen at that position.

Then again, with trading Nash and not screwing up the No. 2 pick on the docket, keeping everything else simple might be a solid plan.

  1. greatminnesotasportsmind - May 30, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Kurtis Foster broke this news on Friday during an interview in Minneapolis. Only 4 days behind PHT, well done

  2. cincycbjfan - May 30, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Unlike last week’s “news” (the Russell signing), this one actually is news, and makes sense.

    You’re not going to have an entire team full of 1st line talent… someone has got to do the dirty work… MacKenzie has been – when healthy – one of the few bright spots on this team… he’s got a plus rating, plays the 4th line role without complaints, kills penalties…

    A solid 4th line signing… let’s hope the Brain Trust can do the Nash deal, and please, for the love of God, FIND US A GOALTENDER!!!

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