COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Free agent goaltender Ron Tugnutt signed a four-year, $10 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

The team later announced it would introduce its first head coach at a news conference on Wednesday.

Blue Jackets spokesman Todd Sharrock declined comment when asked who Doug MacLean, the team's president and general manager, had chosen as coach.

But WBNS-TV in Columbus said Tuesday night that former Calgary head coach Dave King had been chosen over former Calgary head coach Brian Sutter, Colorado Avalanche assistant Bryan Trottier and former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ron Low.

Blue Jackets spokesman Dan Jones said Tuesday 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.

MacLean had plenty to say about Tugnutt.

``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,'' MacLean said.

Tugnutt played for Ottawa and Pittsburgh last season, compiling a 22-14-8 record with a 2.52 goals-against average in 51 games.

He also has played for Quebec, Edmonton, Anaheim and Montreal during his 12-year NHL career, appearing in 398 regular-season games. He has a 134-170-49 record and 3.22 goals-against average.

``I think it's a great opportunity,'' Tugnutt said about joining the expansion Blue Jackets. ``I've done this before with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. It was a fantastic time.

``The first year (with) an expansion team is always electrifying and always exciting. Going to the rink today, people are going to enjoy themselves there. It's going to be a party.''