Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier will not join the team for the upcoming season because of unspecified personal problems.
The Blue Jackets said in a release Wednesday that the 22-year-old native of Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France, would not be with the team for the 2022-23 season, “per the advice and recommendation of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.”
“During the past year, I have experienced some personal issues and challenges and I feel I need to be close to my family at this time,” the player said in a statement. “This is a hard decision, but it is the best one for me right now.”
Texier will not be paid by the Blue Jackets and his $1.5 million salary will not count against the salary cap this season. He will be allowed to sign a one-year contract to play in Europe for the 2022-23 season.
“Alexandre Texier and I recently had a very long conversation in which he indicated to me that he was not ready to resume his career in the NHL at this time,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “While we are disappointed Tex will not be joining us for the 2022-23 season as we anticipated, his mental health and well-being remain our top priority and we will continue to support him in any way we can.”
Texier was granted a leave of absence by the club last March after being sidelined due to a fractured finger.
He recorded single-season career highs with 11 goals and nine assists last season, and an even plus-minus rating while averaging 14:36 of ice time in 36 games.
A second-round draft pick by the Blue Jackets in 2017, the 6-1, 186-pound forward has 22 goals and 27 assists in 123 career NHL games.