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Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenceman Klesla signs four-year extension

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Just before the start of their ninth season opener, the Columbus Blue Jackets locked up the only player who has been with them from the beginning.

Defenceman Rostislav Klesla signed a four-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season. General manager Scott Howson announced the signing Saturday just before the franchise’s ninth season opener against Minnesota.

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The 27-year-old Klesla was the club’s first draft pick, taken fourth overall in the first round of the 2000 entry draft – before the Blue Jackets had ever played an NHL game.

He has 36 goals and 79 assists in 444 career games with the Blue Jackets.