With the prospects of trading franchise cornerstone Rick Nash looming in the background, the Blue Jackets made a trade on the first day of NHL free agency, acquiring left winger Nick Foligno from Ottawa in exchange for defenseman Marc Methot.
Foligno will help fill a critical need for offense, especially after Nash is traded, which could happen soon.
"This is a player (Foligno) we've had our eye on for some time now, a player we think has already established himself as a very good NHL player, and a player who is still emerging," GM Scott Howson said. "He has a chance to really help out our team."
Foligno, a restricted free agent, had a career-high 47 points last season with Ottawa, a surprising playoff qualifier in the Eastern Conference. He'll play on the Blue Jackets' No. 1 or 2 line at left wing or center.
"I have some experience in having my team not picked to be the best team, in dealing with expectations being kind of low," Foligno said. "I (know) how hard you have to work."
The Jackets didn't stop with Foligno.
Veteran defenseman Adrian Aucoin, who turns 39 on July 3, was signed to a one-year, $2 million contract, not including bonuses, with the hope that he can monitor two young Blue Jackets defensemen -- John Moore and Ryan Murray.
That's the role Aucoin filled in his previous two stops, Chicago and Phoenix.
"I know my role and the stage I'm at with my career," Aucoin told The Columbus Dispatch. "I enjoy helping guys figure it out, helping them progress. It's something I take pride in."
The Blue Jackets also signed goaltender Curtis McElhinney to the organization's No. 3 behind Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason, who are expected to compete for No. 1 duty.
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