The Blue Jackets continue to add to their defensive depth, now adding journeyman blue liner Adam Clendening to their ranks. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports that it is a one-year, two-way deal for Clendening and adds that he will be paid $700K at the NHL level and $300K at the AHL level, with a $400K final salary guaranteed. Clendening is expected to compete for a job in Columbus with fellow new addition Tommy Cross and returning prospects Dean Kukan and Gabriel Carlsson.
Clendening, 25, is on his seventh NHL organization already and has never been able to secure a full-time role. Selected 36th overall in 2011, the former Boston University standout has just 86 NHL games under his belt and was allowed to walk into free agency when he went unqualified by the Chicago Blackhawks. Even if he doesn’t make an impact at the highest level for the Blue Jackets, Clendening is an excellent minor league defender that can put up big point totals and log huge minutes.
The Cleveland Monsters, Columbus’ AHL affiliate, have fallen on tough times recently and need help turning things around. After winning the Calder Cup in 2016, the team finished second-last in the entire league with just 25 wins. That included ranking in the bottom three in both goals for and goals against, something that Clendening will try to change next year.