The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman James Wisniewski to a six-year, $33 million deal. The Blue Jackets acquired his rights earlier in the week from Montreal and made sure to get a deal done so a team like the Red Wings couldn't go after him.
While it's not a surprise that a deal was done, the fact that it's worth $5.5 million per year is pretty shocking. I suppose with the way the market is right now it shouldn't be all that surprising that defensemen are getting overpaid, but $5.5 million a year for Wisniewski is a lot of money.
I guess now Jonathan Ericsson's deal with the Red Wings is starting to make more sense. His contract is worth $3.25 million per year, and while that's definitely more than what he's worth, all contracts with defenseman are being inflated. Between the salary cap going up and the need for defensemen being so high, guys like Wisniewski, Ericsson and Christian Ehrhoff are getting big deals.
With Wisniewski and Ehrhoff not making it to free agency, the Red Wings will have to go in a different direction to fill their need for a top-four defenseman.