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Columbus inks Nikitin for two years, $4.3 million

Jun 28, 2012, 2:16 PM EDT

Nikita Nikitin

One of Columbus’ few bright sports from last season will be around for the forseeable future.

According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets have agreed to terms with RFA defenseman Nikita Nikitin — a two-year deal worth $4.3 million.

The deal will pay $1.8 million this year, $2.5 the next and will take Nikitin one year beyond UFA status.

Acquired from St. Louis in exchange for Kris Russell last November, Nikitin was a solid contributor on the Columbus blueline last season. He led all defensemen in scoring (7G-25A-32PTS) despite playing just 54 games and averaged over 23 minutes a night.

He also finished minus-5, no small feat when you log tons of minutes on a lousy team. Just ask Fedor Tuytin (minus-21), Derick Brassard (minus-20) and Rick Nash (minus-19).

The deal represents a healthy raise for the 26-year-old Russian, who played last season on a one-year, $600,00 deal.

  1. hermanbates - Jun 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Nikitin may never be a star(though he may) but watching him play last year gave me something I rarely had to watch while watching the other players(not including Nash, who can do no wrong): something that didn’t hurt to watch. He never had any relapses or did stupid things. He was always solid and put together a fine season. Keep in mind he was the CBJ “shutdown” defenseman as well. I’m glad he’ll be back for a couple years.

  2. east96st - Jun 28, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Howson did something practical, reasonable, and BENEFICIAL for the team?!? Crap, maybe the Mayans were on to something.

  3. danphipps01 - Jun 28, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Welp, the words “Good signing by Scott Howson” were on the list I thought I’d never have to say, but now I have. I feel dirty. D:

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