LeBron James wasn’t the only one to sign a lucrative contract in the state of Ohio on Friday.
The Columbus Blue Jackets signed center and rising star Brandon Dubinsky to a six-year extension $35.1 million that will keep him in in Columbus through the 2020-21 season.
“It’s the commitment to winning,” Dubinsky said at a news conference after the deal was announced. “[Management] has said they want to win here. I want to win. Our interests were aligned.”
Dubinsky, 28, was one of the central figures in the Rick Nash blockbuster trade two seasons that sent him to the New York Rangers for Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick.
“This is a well-earned contract for a player who is a leader on our team and plays at his best when it counts the most,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “He’s a Blue Jacket. He plays like we want every Blue Jacket to play.”
Dubinsky is coming off a season that saw him score 16 goals and record a career-high 34 assists while leading the Blue Jackets back to the postseason and picking up the franchise’s first playoff victory when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With Dubinsky locked up for the next six years, Columbus will not turn their attention toward an extension for former Vezina-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and agreeing to a new contract for restricted free agent Ryan Johansen after the 21-year-old center led the team in scoring last season with 33 goals and 63 points.