The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed blue liner David Savard to a two-year, $2.6 million contract. The 23-year-old restricted free agent has been on the Blue Jackets defense for the past three years, but capitalized on his increasing play last season to gain a more permanent position on the roster.
Savard played 70 games throughout the 2013-14 campaign. He had five goals, ten assists, 28 penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating. He also added four assists during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He averaged 17:50 of ice time per game. In his previous two years in the NHL combined, he only played a total of 35 games.
His salary is a huge jump from the $709,000 he made previously; an excellent sign that his skill set is increasing and the franchise has seen the impact he can make on the ice.
Currently Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski, Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray make up the top four defensemen for the Blue Jackets and all will be returning. Savard will now have to compete with Dalton Prout as well as fellow restricted free agent Tim Erixon for one of the remaining two spots.
Savard has an excellent chance to prove to the team what he has what it takes to be a top blue liner in the coming years. Having seemed to play better as the last season progressed, as well as making an impact during the playoffs, he increased his ice time during the post season to 23 minutes per game.
After extending Savard, the Blue Jackets now have a little less than $16 million in cap space to work with for any further deals.
Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets