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Blue Jackets ink Nikitin to 2-year deal

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Nikita Nikitin to a two-year, $4.3 million contract.

The 26-year-old Nikitin, who had seven goals and 25 assists in 61 games a year ago with the Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues, will make $1.8 million this coming season and $2.5 million in 2013-14.

He was acquired by the Blue Jackets on Nov. 11 in a straight-up deal for defenseman Kris Russell.

Nikitin ended up second among Columbus defensemen in goals, assists and points and was second overall with three game-winning goals and fourth in average ice time (23:11). St. Louis' fifth pick, 136th overall in the 2004 draft, he set career highs in each of those categories.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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