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Columbus Blue Jackets sign center Sean Monahan in free agency

Columbus Blue Jackets sign center Sean Monahan in free agency

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Blue Jackets made a move on the first day of NHL free agency.

The Jackets signed center Sean Monahan to a five-year, $27.5 million contract on Monday. Monahan played for Montreal and Winnipeg last season, posting 59 points in 83 games. He has 244 career goals.

“Sean Monahan is a very talented player and his addition strengthens our team in the middle and brings valuable experience, leadership and versatility to our lineup,” said team president Don Waddell. “He can score and create goals, is very good in the faceoff circle and can play on the power play and kill penalties.”

Monahan played nine seasons with Calgary, where he had a productive relationship with current Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau.

The Blue Jackets are coming off a season in which they finished last in the Metro Division, fired coach Pascal Vincent and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and reinstated former team president John Davidson. The addition of Monahan is Waddell’s first free-agent signing.

During last week’s NHL draft, the Blue Jackets selected center Cayden Lindstrom of Medicine Hat from the Western Hockey League with their fourth pick.

Also on Monday, the NHL announced that the Blue Jackets will host their home opener on Oct. 15 against the Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers. The Jackets’ first exhibition game will be on Sept. 23.