Kekalainen: Anisimov deal is "close"

The Blue Jackets hope to have Anisimov inked to a new deal in the near future

Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 11:00 AM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com



COLUMBUS, Ohio -- While much of the "restricted free agent focus" surrounds goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets' focus has reached other areas.

Also scheduled for RFA status on July 5, center Artem Anisimov is in need of a new contract.

No deal is official or signed off on yet, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Tuesday morning, but the club is hopeful to have a new contract done in the not-too-distant future for their young center. Acquired from the New York Rangers on July 23 in a deal that sent former Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash to the Big Apple, Anisimov was an ideal fit right away with Columbus.

Though he battled injuries - including a scary incident at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in February - Anisimov managed to be a valuable player when he was healthy and in Todd Richards' lineup. The 25-year-old center showed an ability to play in all three zones and in multiple situations in an expanded role in 2012-13, and proved capable of handling more ice time in the process.

He made an impact right away, scoring a goal on opening night in Nashville and also an impressive goal in the shootout as the Blue Jackets earned a 3-2 victory.

In 35 games played, Anisimov totaled 11 goals - third-most on the club despite missing time due to injury - and 18 points, putting him on a 40-point pace over the course of a full season.

Anisimov's current contract, a two-year deal signed in 2011, carries an annual salary cap hit of $1.875 million.

"We're pretty close with Anisimov, and again, we're optimistic that we'll get a deal done sooner rather than later," Kekalainen said. "We've done all of our qualifying offers and all that - those are going out, but we want to respect the process so we communicate with the players. I'm optimistic (Anisimov) will get done here shortly and we're working on (Sergei Bobrovsky)."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 2 2 1 0 3
M. Calvert 2 2 0 3 2
R. Johansen 2 1 1 -1 2
B. Dubinsky 2 0 2 0 2
D. Savard 2 0 2 1 2
B. Jenner 2 0 2 -1 2
D. MacKenzie 2 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 2 1 0 1 1
A. Anisimov 2 0 1 -1 1
C. Atkinson 2 0 1 1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 1 0 .905 3.00
 
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