Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 1/24/12
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 and Toronto. Columbus' final game before the All-Star break is Tuesday at Tampa Bay. NOTES, QUOTESBlue Jackets have been no match for Nashville --The rivalry is officially dead. The Blue Jackets and Nashville used to play nasty, physical games in a back-and-forth rivalry. But the Blue Jackets are only 11-29-9 vs. Nashville since the lockout, including a 1-5-0 record this season. --Monday's loss in Nashville dropped the Blue Jackets to 2-4-1 under interim coach Todd Richards, who took over upon the firing of Scott Arniel on Jan. 8. Richards has been told he'll coach the club the rest of the season. QUOTE TO NOTE: "It wasn't a fun period to watch. I think everyone felt that way." -- Blue Jackets interim coach Todd Richards after the Blue Jackets were outshot 12-3 and fell behind 1-0 in Nashville on Monday. ROSTER REPORTPLAYER NOTES: --D Nikita Nikitin was diagnosed with a left knee injury (the Blue Jackets won't say the extent) after his collision with the boards in Saturday's shootout loss to Detroit. Nikitin was shoved from behind on the play by Red Wings winger Henrik Zetterberg, but Zetterberg -- who was given a five-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct for baording -- was not subject to further discipline by the NHL. Nikitin is day-to-day. --RW R.J. Umberger returned to the lineup on Monday in Nashville after missing five games with a concussion, the second of his career. Umberger played 14 minutes, 42 seconds and was back on the Jackets' No. 2 line with Tomas Kubalik and Derick Brassard. --D Brett Lebda made his Blue Jackets debut and played 21:14 on Monday in Nashville, skating with Fedor Tyutin on the No. 1 pair. --C Ryan Johansen was a healthy scratch on Monday in Nashville. Interim coach Todd Richards has been mildly critical lately of Johansen's up-and-down performances from game to game, but Richards allows that it's the mark of a young player. MEDICAL WATCH: --D James Wisniewski (broken ankle) is out until February. --C Jeff Carter (separated shoulder) is out indefinitely. --RW Mark Letestu (broken hand) is out until late February. --LW Kristian Huselius (lower body) is out until February. --D Radek Martinek (concussion) is out for the season. --D Nikita Nikitin (left knee) is out indefinitely.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance


Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker