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Tuesday, July 4, 2000
Tugnutt joins Blue JacketsCOLUMBUS, Ohio (CP-AP) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets added some experience in goal Tuesday, signing free agent Ron Tugnutt to a four-year, $10-million contract.
The NHL team later announced it would introduce its first head coach at a news conference Wednesday.
Blue Jackets spokesman Todd Sharrock declined comment when asked who Doug MacLean, team president and general manager, had chosen as coach.
But WBNS-TV said former Calgary head coach Dave King has been chosen over former Flames head coach Brian Sutter, Colorado Avalanche assistant Bryan Trottier and former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ron Low.
Blue Jackets spokesman Dan Jones said he could neither confirm nor deny King's selection.
"If it's being reported locally, they're getting it from other media sources, but not from us," he said.
Tugnutt, 32, has NHL experience with Quebec, Edmonton, Anaheim, Montreal, Ottawa and Pittsburgh during a 12-year career.
He has appeared in 398 regular-season games, compiling a 134-170-49 record and 3.22 goals-against average .
"Ron Tugnutt has been one of the top goaltenders in the National Hockey League over the past four seasons and I'm thrilled that he is going to be a Columbus Blue Jacket," said MacLean.
"He is an outstanding player, a tremendous leader and will team with Marc Denis to give us one of the top goaltending tandems in the League."
Tugnutt was 22-14-8 with a 2.52 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in 51 games with Ottawa and Pittsburgh in 1999-00.
"I've been very impressed by the commitment shown by Doug and the organization in signing outstanding players like Lyle Odelein," Tugnutt said.
"What Doug did in leading the (Florida) Panthers to the (1996 Stanley Cup) Finals in just their third season was a great accomplishment and says a lot about his commitment to success.
"I've heard great things about the city of Columbus and the state of Ohio so my family and I are very excited about this opportunity."