The signing of veteran defenseman Brett Lebda has taken on added importance in recent weeks as Blue Jackets defenseman keep falling prey to injuries.
Nikita Nikitin was the latest to be sidelined, suffering a left knee injury that will keep him out of the lineup indefinitely.
He joins James Wisniewski, who is still weeks away with a fractured left ankle, and Radek Martinek, who is out for the season with a lingering concussion.
"It's not how you want to get into the lineup, but I'm excited for this opportunity and I hope to make the most of it," Lebda said. "This organization gave me a chance (in November) to come and play with them in the minor leagues, and this is the opportunity I was hoping for when I decided to join them."
The Blue Jackets wasted no time getting Lebda up to speed. He made his Columbus debut in Monday's 4-1 loss in Nashville, pairing with Fedor Tyutin on the No. 1 pair and playing 21 minutes, 14 seconds. Lebda, 30, has played in 367 NHL games with Detroit an...