The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Scott Harrington to a three-year contract that will keep him in the organization through the 2021-22 season. Harrington was a restricted free agent for the final time, thus giving up two unrestricted free agent years in the deal. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports the deal will carry an average annual value of $1.633MM. GM Jarmo Kekalainen released a statement on the deal:
Scott Harrington is a very smart, reliable defenseman who made great strides to become a regular contributor on our blueline last season. He works very hard and has continued to improve steadily over the past three seasons. Scott has shown himself to be an excellent leader who has earned the respect of his coaches and teammates and we look forward to his continued contributions to our club.
Harrington, 26, had quite the tumultuous first few years in his professional career before settling into a depth role for the Blue Jackets. Originally selected 54th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, he would play only ten NHL games for them before heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of a package for Phil Kessel. In Toronto he would play just a single season split between the AHL and NHL before being traded once again, this time for Kerby Rychel. In his first season with the Blue Jackets he played just 27 total games between all levels, and followed that with just 32 the next season. In 2018-19 though he was given his biggest opportunity, suiting up for 73 games in the regular season and another ten in the playoffs.
Though he was playing just over 13 minutes a night, Harrington still recorded 21 points in those 83 games last season. With the entire blue line set to return at this point it is unclear exactly how he’ll fit in, but given his new salary and term there’s a good bet he’s in the team’s lineup plans. That will cause some speculation that another player may be on their way out, but the Blue Jackets have always found strength in their defensive depth and next season should be no different.