Shoring Up the Defense
The Blue Jackets signed veteran defenseman Adam Foote, 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, to a three year $13.8 million deal. Foote had been a stalwart for the Colorado Avalanche's two Stanley Cup winning teams.
A few days later Columbus signed another veteran, Brian Berard. Another defenseman with good size (6'2", 218 pounds), Berard was signed for two years at $2.2 million per season. Hockey fans may remember him as the former rookie of the year (when a member of the Islanders) who had a terrible eye injury after being hit in the eye by a high stick.
These two signings are vital to the improvement of the young team. As noted in last year's blogs, the Blue Jackets need defensive help to go with the young offensive talent. Adding veteran help will serve to stabilize the defense for goalie Mark Denis and to provide leadership for the younger guys. Don't get me wrong - they need to sign a scorer or three - but management deserves kudos for these intelligent signings.