Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier will not join the team this season, per the advice and recommendation of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, the club announced Wednesday.
The rights of the club and player will be consistent with the treatment of a suspended player, so he will not be paid by the team and his salary will not count against the salary cap. As part of an agreement between the club, NHL, NHLPA and the player, Texier will be permitted to sign a one-year contract to play in Europe for the 2022-23 season.
"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," Texier said in a statement. "I have love and respect for the city of Columbus, the Blue Jackets, and the fans as everyone has always treated me first-class. I truly appreciate the support, help and empathy I have received from team management, the coaching staff, doctors, trainers and my teammates. This was a hard decision, but it is the best one for me right now."
Texier, 22, was granted a leave of absence by the club last March after being sidelined due to a fractured finger on Jan. 26.
Texier set career highs with 11 goals and 20 points in 36 games last season.
The six-foot-one native of France has 22 goals and 27 assists in 123 career NHL games, all with Columbus.
"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," Blue Jackets GM 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."