March 26, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Rick Nash (61) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit won 7-2 clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

NHL Offseason 2012: Blue Jackets Exploring Options Through Free Agency

The Columbus Blue Jackets know their schedule for the upcoming 2012-13 season and have wrapped up their draft. They've got some free agency decisions to make before the start of the season. For more on the Blue Jackets, check out The Cannon.

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NHL Free Agency 2012: Blue Jackets Sign Defenseman Adrian Aucoin To One Year Deal

After trading steady defenseman Marc Methot to Ottawa earlier in the day in order to bolster their offense, the Columbus Blue Jackets quickly solidified their defense later in the day by inking 17-year veteran Adrian Aucoin to a two-year contract. TSN's Aaron Ward confirmed on Twitter Sunday afternoon that Aucoin's deal will be worth at least $2 million depending on bonuses:

The 38-year-old Aucoin will presumably take on a mentor-like role with some of the Blue Jackets' young defenders, including 2012 first round pick Ryan Murray, who was born literally 20 years later. Though Aucoin once tallied 23 goals in a season back with Vancouver in the late 90's, he has deteriorated as of late and clearly drew minimal interest on the free agent market. But being in desperate need of a proven veteran to step up and take on Methot's minutes (or more), Aucoin's signing is a solid value for Columbus at this point.

For more coverage of Columbus' quest to acquire free agents, stay with this StoryStream. For more on the Blue Jackets, head over to The Cannon. And for more NHL news and analysis, be sure to check out SB Nation's NHL hub.

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