Jackets' Martinek out for remainder of season
Blue Jackets defenseman Radek Martinek, out of the lineup with a concussion since early October, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, the club announced on Thursday.
Martinek was hit by Detroit's Brad Stuart on Oct. 19 in only his seventh game with the Blue Jackets.
"Radek is very disappointed, as we are, that he will not return to the ice this year," Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said. "But his health is the most important factor in this decision."
Twice the Blue Jackets, who were shut out by Nashville 3-0 Thursday, thought he was on the path to a return. But his most recent setback came earlier this week, and, after a meeting with doctors, he was told to take the rest of the season off.
The Blue Jackets signed him as an unrestricted free agent in July, only two months after he sustained a serious concussion while playing for the Czech Republic in the World Championships.
In seven games with Columbus, he had one goal and a minus-3 rating.
Columbus is back in action Saturday at Detroit.
Byers suspended for three games
--The NHL has come down on a Blue Jackets player for the second time this season. Left winger Dane Byers was suspended three games by the league on Monday for his shoulder-to-head hit on San Jose's Andrew Desjardins on Saturday.
--The Blue Jackets planned on Mark Dekanich being their backup goaltender this season, but he has yet to dress in a game in Columbus. And it could be a while. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Dekanich will likely be left in the minor leagues for an extended stretch, to get his game together and prove he's healthy. Dekanich, who has been hampered by high-ankle and groin injuries this summer, is 1-1-1 with an .876 save percentage and a 3.83 goals-against average in three starts with Springfield.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know if the old team would have been able to do that." -- Blue Jackets G Curtis Sanford, referring to his club's comeback from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-2 on Tuesday over Edmonton.
Gillies excited about opportunity with Columbus
Colton Gillies was so desperate for a fresh start to his NHL career that he expressed joy and excitement over being claimed by the last-place Blue Jackets.
The former first-round draft pick -- No. 16 overall in 2007 -- was claimed by the Blue Jackets on waivers from Minnesota on Saturday and made his Columbus debut in a 4-2 win over Edmonton on Tuesday in Nationwide Arena.
"I truly believe I can play here and have a big role," Gillies told The Columbus Dispatch. "I'm big. I'm fast. I've always liked to hit. I like to have the puck. I like to work hard defensively.
"I believe in earning your spot. I don't think anything should be given to you. That's how I want it to be here."
Gillies got off to a strong start. He assisted on Derek MacKenzie's game-winning goal early in the third period, playing 11 minutes, 7 seconds on the fourth line.
He should be a lineup regular with the Jackets while Dane Byers is serving a three-game NHL suspension. Next up are the Nashville Predators at home on Thursday.
The Blue Jackets play the Wild in Nationwide Arena on Feb. 7, a date Gillies has circled on his calendar.
"I definitely checked my new schedule when I found out who picked me up," Gillies said.
Blue Jackets sign Lebda to contract
--After losing Radek Martinek to a concussion for the rest of the season, the Blue Jackets signed veteran defenseman Brett Lebda to a contract. Lebda had played in 367 NHL games with Detroit and Toronto. He could make his Blue Jackets debut on Saturday in Joe Louis Arena against his former club.
--Hard to believe, but the Blue Jackets were the last NHL club to be shutout this season. They succumbed 3-0 to Nashville on Thursday.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "There's no holes, and he's really big." -- Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard, referring to Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne after Thursday's 3-0 loss.
--G Steve Mason, making his first start in 10 days, stopped 22 of 25 shots on Thursday in a 3-0 loss to Nashville. Mason is 5-17-2 this season.
--D Brett Lebda was signed to a contract for the remainder of the season on Thursday. He played 26 games for the Jackets' minor league franchise in Springfield, putting up one goal, nine assists and an even rating.
--D Grant Clitsome is one player who has not benefitted from the Blue Jackets' coaching change. Since interim coach Todd Richards took over, Clitsome has been scratched in all five games.
--D James Wisniewski (broken ankle) is out until February.
--C Jeff Carter (separated shoulder) out indefinitely.
--RW Mark Letestu (broken hand) is out until late February.
--LW Kristian Huselius (lower body) is out until February.
--LW R.J. Umberger (concussion) is out indefinitely.
--D Radek Martinek (concussion) is out for the season.