Canadiens trade rights to Wisniewski to Blue Jackets for draft pick

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens traded the rights to defenceman James Wisniewski to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a seventh-round pick on Wednesday.

A condition of the deal is that if the Blue Jackets are able to sign the potential unrestricted free agent to a contract, the pick will be in the fifth round rather than the seventh.

The Canadiens obtained Wisniewski from the New York Islanders on Dec. 28 for a second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round selection. The power-play specialist had 51 points (10 goals, 41 assists) in 75 games last season.

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He earned US$3.250 million last season.

The Canadiens were not expected to try to retain Wisniewski after they made a contract offer this week to veteran Roman Hamrlik, who can also become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.

Also Wednesday, the Canadiens signed defenceman Yannick Weber to a two-year contract. He had 11 points (1-10) in 41 games last season.

He will make $800,000 next season and $900,000 in 2012-13.