The Montreal Canadiens, unable to come to terms with impending free agent defenseman James Wisniewski, have traded his negotiating rights to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.

If the Blue Jackets re-sign Wisniewski, the Blue Jackets will send a 2012 fifth-round pick to the Canadiens. If unsigned by July 1, Wisniewski becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Wisniewski, 27, had a breakout offensive season in 2010-11, posting career highs in goals (10), assists (41), points (51), power-play goals (8) and shots on goal (158).

Wisniewski started last season with the New York Islanders, but they dealt him to Montreal on Dec. 30, in exchange for a 2011 second-round pick and a 2012 fifth-round selection.

In 43 games with the Canandiens, he had 7 goals and 23 assists, and was an able substitute for the injured Andrei Markov.

However, Markov is healthy and just signed a new three-year contract.

In 329 NHL games with the Blackhawks, Ducks, Islanders and Canadiens, Wisniewski has 27 goals, 121 assists, 302 penalty minutes and a plus-5 rating.