Minnesota Wild's Justin Fontaine, right, carries the puck up ice as Columbus Blue Jackets' Nick Foligno defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets won 3-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Jay LaPrete
December 31, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed left wing Nick Foligno to a six-year contract extension worth $33 million through the 2020-21 season.

The 27-year-old Foligno has 17 goals and 15 assists in 34 games this season. He came into Wednesday night's game against Minnesota - his 500th NHL contest - tied for sixth in the NHL in goals, tied for 23rd in points, tied for first in power-play goals (9) and tied for second in power-play points (17).

''This is where I wanted to be,'' Foligno said after the Blue Jackets' 3-1 win over the Wild. ''I talked to my wife. We love it here. This is where I want to win, where I want to be. I'm proud of what we've accomplished and I want to see it through.''

Foligno had one of the most memorable goals in the franchise's first 13 seasons when he scored in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of a first-round series last spring. The Penguins ended up winning in six games, but the Blue Jackets climbed back from a poor start to make the playoffs while setting team records for wins (43) and points (93) and earning their first two playoff victories.

The deal was announced just before Wednesday's game. Pat Morris, Foligno's agent, confirmed the terms via an email to The Associated Press.

''We want players who want to be Blue Jackets,'' Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. ''I had a conversation with (Foligno) this morning before we agreed and he told me he wants to stay here. He wants to win with us. He wants to continue building the team we're trying to build and make it a winner in the National Hockey League.''

Kekalainen said it was important for the team to sign Foligno, who could have become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, because of the intangibles he brings along with his scoring ability.

''It's the way he plays,'' he said. ''He sticks up for his teammates, he battles, he blocks shots, he plays through injuries and he's a heart-and-soul guy on our team.''

The Buffalo native came in with 102 goals and 135 assists with 443 penalty minutes with the Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators. He was acquired from Ottawa for defenseman Marc Methot on July 1, 2012.

---

Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP

You May Like