Blue Jackets Very Close To Re-Signing C Derek MacKenzie

DENVER, CO - MARCH 22: Derek MacKenzie #24 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates his short handed second period goal against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 22, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

MacKenzie has gone back and forth between the AHL and the NHL, but may have finally found a home in the Blue Jackets.

According to a tweet from Aaron Portzline, the Columbus Blue Jackets are very close to re-signing center Derek MacKenzie. MacKenzie will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 unless he is re-signed prior to so the Blue Jackets look like they'll lock him up way before the deadline.

MacKenzie scored six goals and recorded seven assists in 66 games for the Blue Jackets this past season, his second straight full season with the squad. After joining the Blue Jackets in 2007-2008, MacKenzie has gone back and forth from the Blue Jackets to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. But MacKenzie seems to have finally earned his place in Columbus.

MacKenzie signing would come on the heels of the Blue Jackets agreeing to terms on a one-year, two-way deal with center Ryan Russell on Thursday and re-signing right wing Derek Dorsett to a three-year deal. Dorsett scored a career-high 12 goals this past season and led the NHL in penalty minutes with 235.

For more on the Blue Jackets, head to Jackets Cannon. And for more NHL news and information, head over to SB Nation's NHL hub page.

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