The Columbus Blue Jackets sign Zach Werenski to a massive deal and perhaps begin to change the narrative

The perception around the NHL has been the Columbus Blue Jackets are unable to keep star players. There has been truth to that. Until last night when the Blue Jackets announced they have signed defensive standout Zach Werenski to a 6 year $57.5 million dollar contract extension. Just like that general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has silenced the chatter.

COLUMBUS, OH – MARCH 22: Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets gains control of the puck in the third period as Jesper Fast #71 of the Carolina Hurricanes gives chase at Nationwide Arena on March 22, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. Carolina shut out Columbus 3-0. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Not long ago, I wrote that the Columbus Blue Jackets should offer defensive standout Zach Werenski the deal they were rumored to be offering then Blue Jackets defensive standout Seth Jones. Thursday night out of the blue that is exactly what the franchise did.

There are no two ways about it, this is a major win for Jarmo Kekalainen and the Blue Jackets. To not only draft a player, develop him into an All-Star caliber and a  player who is gifted in the offensive end and has really taken big steps  defensively and lock him up in his prime is huge.

Zach Werenski who since being in the NHL is tied for third in goals (65) for a defensemen and ranks 19th in points (139) for a defensemen. For Werenski who is one of the NHL’s best defensive players his pay raise will now reflect both market value for a player of his stature and his value to the Blue Jackets organization.

This is exactly what the Columbus Blue Jackets have needed to do. To hand out a massive contract to a player approaching the prime of their career and end players leaving for seemingly greener pastures elsewhere is excellent news.

COLUMBUS, OH – MAY 2: Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 2, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

This shows players around the league and the Blue Jackets fan base that enough is enough. The organization is now ready to lock up players which is more inviting to free agents and to the current roster members.

This seems to be a new era of Blue Jackets hockey one with a focus on keeping talent.

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