The Blue Jackets on Thursday signed defenseman James Wisniewski to a six-year contract. The deal was announced an hour before Wisniewski, whose rights were acquired from Montreal on Wednesday, would have become an unrestricted free agent.
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Columbus dealt a 2012 seventh-round draft choice to the Canadiens for Wisniewski, 27, one of the biggest names on the defenseman free-agency list this season.
He has 27 goals and 121 assists with 302 penalty minutes in 329 career NHL games with the Canadiens, Islanders, Ducks and Blackhawks. Last year, he had 10 goals and 51 points with Montreal and New York.