Columbus Blue Jackets Re-Sign Defenseman Grant Clitsome to 2-Year Deal

Patrick DrottarCorrespondent IJune 10, 2011

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 09:  Grant Clitsome #14 of the Columbus Blue Jackets looks on the St. Louis Blues on March 9, 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson announced today that the team has signed defenseman Grant Clitsome to a new two-year deal.

"We are pleased to have Grant signed for two more years," Howson said in a press release.

"He is a great example of a player we drafted who has patiently developed at the collegiate and AHL levels and become a solid, dependable NHL defenseman."

Clitsome, 26, played 31 games for the Blue Jackets last season and registered four goals and 15 assists.

He was called up midseason when issues between defenseman Mike Commodore and head coach Scott Arniel had reached their boiling point and the tempered defenseman was placed on waivers.

After no team claimed him, Commodore was sent to Springfield to mentor the youngsters of the Springfield Falcons, and Clitsome was called up to take his place.

Clitsome came on board and immediately contributed to the Blue Jackets, registering two goals and four assists in his first seven games.

In February, Clitsome helped the team stay in the thick of the playoff chase, tallying a goal and seven assists, as well as a plus/minus rating of plus-two.

After Clitsome was called up, he was able to do what a lot of Jacket defenseman could not at the time, which was shoot the puck on net during power-play opportunities.

Coach Arniel would preach about the need to fire the puck on net and create chances, but time and time again players would be hesitant to shoot and would pass the puck, killing valuable time and barely creating any scoring opportunity.

This would lead to the Blue Jackets having one of the worst power plays in the league this past season.

Clitsome seemed to be the only player who heard this Arniel's message and was rewarded with plenty of special teams play.

Clitsome ranked second on the team in average ice time with 21 minutes and 16 seconds, as well as finished fourth among defenseman in goals, assists and points.

These stats are impressive from a player who played less than a half of a season in only his second NHL season.

Although Columbus is publicly in the market for an offensive-minded defenseman, there will no doubt be a spot open for Clitsome come October.

The "dependable NHL defenseman" could be around the league for quite some time.