You are not connected. Please login or register

What's Next for the Blue Jackets?

Go to page : 1, 2  Next

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 2]

1What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:23 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
In the NHL since just 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets are actually the second Ohio-based NHL franchise, the short-lived Cleveland Barons having played from 1976 to 1978. Under Ken Hitchc0ck's coaching and led by the exceptional talents of Captain Rick Nash and rookie sensation goalie Steve Mason, the Jackets captured their first playoff spot in franchise history only to be swept by the World Champion Red Wings. But as they say in Columbus, "Fire The Cannon!" and the fans are certainly fired up by the team's new success and promise.

So what's up for next season? This report from Yahoo Sports:

Inside Shots: Columbus Blue Jackets Team Report
Yahoo Sports, June 3 2009

The Blue Jackets’ annual offseason search for a skilled defenseman might compel them to make a huge offer to unrestricted free agent Jay Bouwmeester.

It’s unclear if Bouwmeester—after six years playing for the Florida Panthers—would consider signing on with another club in a non-traditional hockey market.

But the Blue Jackets, unlike lots of other NHL clubs, have the salary cap room to make a significant offer, upwards of $6 million per season.

And the Jackets certainly have a need.

The Blue Jackets’ blue line is made up of stay-at-home checking types—Mike Commodore, Jan Hejda, Fedor Tyutin, Rostislav Klesla are the current top four. The only player with an ounce of offensive skill is second-year pro Kris Russell, who might still be a season or two away from significant point production.

Also, the Blue Jackets’ power play was the worst in the NHL last season.

Season Highlight: In a seven-day span in early March, the Blue Jackets beat Detroit, Boston, Pittsburgh and Chicago. It started with an 8-2 win at Detroit on March 7, which stands as the largest margin of victory in franchise history. The four-game surge pushed them nine games above .500 and above the bar in the Western Conference standings.

Turning Point: One could feel the Blue Jackets letting out a deep breath of relief after they beat Chicago 4-3 in a shootout on April 8 to clinch the franchise’s first playoff spot. They never got that wind back, however. The Blue Jackets lost their next six games—two to end the regular season and a four-game sweep at the hands of Detroit in the first round of the playoffs. Cumulative score? 27-11.

Notes, Quotes

The Blue Jackets made an official offer to checking line center Manny Malhotra, hoping to re-sign Malhotra before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. It didn’t appear the two sides are close to reaching terms, but there’s no pressure on either side to get a deal done … yet.

Sergei Mozyakin is one of the most electrifying players in Europe. He was the leading scorer this season in the inaugural season of the Kontinental Hockey League. He’s also property of the Blue Jackets, who drafted him with the 263rd pick of the 2002 entry draft. Mozyakin, however, has never shown any interest in playing in the NHL.

The Blue Jackets, who have picked in the top eight of every entry draft since they joined the NHL, will have the No. 16 pick this season.

Quote To Note: “We’ll be farther away from the podium than ever before—but that’s a good thing, right?”—Blue Jackets hockey operations director Don Boyd, on the club picking No. 16 in this summer’s entry draft and picking in the top eight in each of their first nine drafts.

Roster Report

Most Valuable Player: Rookie goaltender Steve Mason debuted in early November, during a tenuous time for the club. Starter Pascal Leclaire was injured, while backup Fredrik Norrena was getting worse by the day. In came Mason, who won his NHL debut against Edmonton and didn’t loosen his grip on the job the rest of the season. He finished 33-20-7, and his 2.19 save percentage was second-best in the NHL.

Most Disappointing Player: It’s too easy to pick on defenseman Christian Backman, and—to be fair—not much was expected from him when he came to the Blue Jackets in an offseason deal with the New York Rangers. Backman was a throw-in, helping the Rangers get salary cap relief. Still, it was hard to watch him play without wondering who in the world signed him to a $3.4 million contact. He looked nervous, indecisive and not very skilled—three bad character traits for an NHL defenseman.

Free Agent Focus: The Blue Jackets’ primary focus as of July 1 will be to get “franchise” left winger Rick Nash, the club’s captain, signed to a long-term contract extension. Nash can be an unrestricted free agent after the 2009-10 season, but the Blue Jackets can quash the “Nash to Toronto!” rumors by getting him signed before training camp. Nash has said he’s happy in Columbus and would like to remain with the Blue Jackets if “the deal is right.”

If the Blue Jackets don’t re-sign center Manny Malhotra, they’ll need to sign at least two centers this summer, players who can play third- or fourth-line roles. It could send them back to the bargaining table with center Michael Peca, who has signed with the Blue Jackets late in the summer the last two offseasons.

Depending on how the summer goes, GM Scott Howson could come back to forwards Jason Williams and Michael Peca and goaltender Wade Dubielewicz. But he’s hoping to do better.

Defenseman Christian Backman will not be back with the Blue Jackets.

Player News:

Don’t be surprised if the Blue Jackets trade a winger or two this summer, even if it’s only for draft picks. With Rick Nash, Kristian Huselius, Jake Voracek, R.J. Umberger, Nikita Filatov, Fredrik Modin, Jason Chimera and Raffi Torres, the Jackets have a glut of wingers who can play among the top three lines. Filatov is expected to make the club this summer.

GM Scott Howson will go hard after a backup goaltender this offseason, hoping to lessen the workload of youngster Steve Mason. There’s a chance the Blue Jackets could re-up with Wade Dubielewicz, but it’s clear that coach Ken Hitchc0ck did not have much faith in him last season. Mason, a 19-year-old rookie, started 65 of the club’s final 74 games.

Medical Watch:

D Jan Hejda had surgery to re-attach a ligament in his left wrist. He’ll wear a cast for eight weeks but should be ready for training camp.

LW Rick Nash is rehabilitating a rotator cuff injury, but it’s not believed to be serious.

---

So will the Jackets continue to progress in the very tough Central Division? Do they have the stuff to become an NHL power?

You make the call.



Last edited by davetherave on Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

2What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:01 am

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
Assuming Mason doesn't have any set backs I expect an even better showing this coming season.


_________________
"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

- Unknown Author

3What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:19 am

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
Cap'n Clutch wrote:Assuming Mason doesn't have any set backs I expect an even better showing this coming season.
I'll be surprised if we see another 10 shutouts by him though...

4What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:06 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
From The Columbus Dispatch:

NO SIGNS THAT JACKETS WILL LEAVE TOWN
Aaron Portzline, The Dispatch/BlueJacketsExtra.com, June 7, 2009

When a major-league franchise acknowledges massive financial losses these days, it's usually followed by a threat to move to another city that will capitulate to the club's wishes.

So what about the Blue Jackets, who revealed 10 days ago that they've lost $80 million since the 2002-03 season?

Majority owner John P. McConnell has refused all media requests for interviews since the club revealed the losses.

Often in cases like this, an owner's silence can speak volumes. It doesn't appear to say anything in this case.

Three key points were confirmed to The Dispatch last week:
• Blackberry billionaire Jim Balsillie, who has tried to buy the Pittsburgh, Nashville and now Phoenix franchises with the intent of moving one to Hamilton, Ontario, is not interested in the Blue Jackets.
"They're not portable," a source close to Balsillie said. "They're not moving. The market's too good."
• Kansas City, Mo., has a new arena, the Sprint Center, that needs a full-time tenant. How interested is the Anschutz Entertainment Group in procuring an NHL franchise? They offered the Penguins a rent-free agreement a few years back.
"We would not have any discussions with a team that currently has a lease," an AEG spokesman said. "That wouldn't be right. That hockey club in Columbus is under a long-term lease."
• There was no mention of the Blue Jackets or their financial troubles at last week's general manager's meetings in Pittsburgh. The rest of the league apparently doesn't think the situation is that serious or unfixable.

Taking the heat

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is well compensated, so shed no tears. But the one whom Canada loves to bash is standing up to criticism from all sides these days, not just fans.

This week, players union boss Paul Kelly said it was "time to pull the plug" on Phoenix, all but green-lighting Balsillie's attempts to gain control of the Coyotes and move them to Hamilton.

Privately, most NHL owners -- outside Toronto and Buffalo, N.Y., who would compete with a Hamilton franchise for fans -- would probably share Kelly's thoughts, as the NHL's revenue streams would no doubt improve if the Coyotes became the Hamilton Handhelds. (Remember, too, the NHL salary cap is directly linked to the league's revenue.)

But part of Bettman's job is to make sure the NHL's rules and guidelines are maintained. If he didn't fight for the Phoenix franchise -- or at least fight for them to be sold and relocated per NHL rules -- he wouldn't be doing his job.

Fans in Pittsburgh and Nashville have Bettman to thank for keeping their teams in their cities.

Kudos to fans in Nashville, too. As Bettman has noted, it's the only city in which
he is welcomed publicly by cheers instead of boos.

To keep this all in perspective, Bettman told reporters last week that the situation in Pittsburgh just a few years ago was worse than the current situation in Phoenix.

Sunday slap shots

Blue Jackets players will report for training camp Sept. 12, with the first on-ice practice set for Sept. 13. It's a week earlier than usual to allow for the midseason Olympic break.


The NHL has decided to present an annual General Manager of the Year Award, likely as soon as next season. No word on whom the award will be named after, or who will vote on it. Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson would have gotten lots of consideration this season.

All signs in Colorado point to center Joe Sakic calling in quits after a 20-year standout career. He's missed 105 games the past two seasons because of injuries.

The NHL schedule is almost certain to be delayed this summer. It's usually released in mid-July, but it's highly unlikely that Phoenix's immediate future will be known by then. If a long court fight ensues, the Coyotes might be forced to play another season in the desert.

Tickets, anyone?
aportzline@dispatch.com

5What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:50 am

Guest


Guest
What's next? A strong draft and possibly the ability to lure a prized free agent to an up and coming team. What first line player wouldn't want to play with Nash? Like I said in a previous thread, I think they challenge for 2nd in the division.

6What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:11 am

PTFlea

PTFlea
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
Yeah, get look for holes, like a legitimate superstar to play with Nash, draft well and begin to try to get a feel for what Nash will do.

I don't think words describe what he's worth as a trade chip - but I'll admit, that's the last thing you want to do. Get him signed long term!

7What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:15 am

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
shabbs wrote:
Cap'n Clutch wrote:Assuming Mason doesn't have any set backs I expect an even better showing this coming season.
I'll be surprised if we see another 10 shutouts by him though...

I agree. What I was trying to say is as long as Mason continues his strong play then I expect bigger and better things for the team as a whole.


_________________
"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

- Unknown Author

8What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:43 am

SensFan71


All-Star
All-Star
hemlock wrote:What's next? A strong draft and possibly the ability to lure a prized free agent to an up and coming team. What first line player wouldn't want to play with Nash? Like I said in a previous thread, I think they challenge for 2nd in the division.

Gaborik playing with Nash? maybe a possibility, I know all talk is of him in LA, but if Columbus could afford him, what a line that would be, as long as they don't play the same position that is.

9What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:25 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
Watching the Jackets during the regular season and the playoffs, their issues seemed to be gaps in the defensive corps, both in terms of support for Mason and the transition game.

Hitchc0ck's system and coaching helped mask these deficiencies, which were exposed against Detroit.

If Filatov makes the club, one expects he will make a significant contribution, as he showed last year that he is a brilliant player.

IMHO Howson is definitely a GM to watch in the next few months.

10What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:40 am

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
Good news for Steve Mason fans...

BLUE JACKETS XTRA: NEW COACH FOR GOALIES NEARS DEAL
Aaron Portzline, Columbus Dispatch, June 10, 2009

Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason will be reunited with his favorite coach next season.

The Blue Jackets are close to naming David Rook the club's goaltending coach, The Dispatch has learned. An announcement is expected this week.

Clint Malarchuk, the Blue Jackets goalie coach since 2006, will not be back with the club.

"We're still working out the details with David," general manager Scott Howson said. "But he's the only person we're talking to now, and hopefully it's only a matter of days before it's done."

Rook, who was a goaltending consultant with the St. Louis Blues this past season, has spent the past seven seasons as the goaltending coach for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. One of his pupils during that time was Mason, who had a remarkable rookie season with the Blue Jackets this season and is expected to win the NHL's Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie) later this month.

Throughout the season, Mason largely credited Rook with his success.

Howson said the decision to hire Rook went beyond his relationship with Mason.

"We talked to people in St. Louis and London, and obviously we talked to Steve, and he came highly recommended," Howson said. "The fact that he's got a relationship with Steve ... that's a bonus that I won't deny played into the decision. But this is not just Steve Mason's goalie coach. He's here to work with all of our goalies."
aportzline@dispatch.com

11What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:50 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
EJ Hradek and Iain Fyffe bounce around some ideas about the Blue Jackets.

NASH NEEDS HELP UP FRONT
Star forward has accounted for nearly all the team's offensive production
EJ Hradek, Iain Fyffe/ESPN INSIDER, June 19, 2009

Plugging Holes - Columbus Blue Jackets


What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Cls
The Hole: Playmaking center

Rick Nash led the Blue Jackets in goals, with 40. He also led the team in assists, with 39. Nash was basically Columbus' offense all by himself. He needs someone with the ability to feed him the puck.

The Fix: Trade C R.J. Umberger, D Kris Russell and a draft pick to Stars for C Mike Ribeiro

This deal might be tricky to pull off, but a long as Dallas recognizes its own need to rebuild, and the potential that Russell has, it should be doable. It's a good fit: Ribeiro doesn't like to shoot unless he absolutely has to, while Nash should be good for about 300 shots a year. Although Ribeiro's contract calls for $5 million, this move will only add about $1 million in salary for Columbus because Umberger's contract is also fairly hefty. Ribeiro should help prop up Columbus' sad power play, as well.

E.J.'s Take: In theory, a playmaking pivot like Mike Ribeiro should fit nicely with a goal-scoring winger like Nash. Still, I don't see this deal as a fit for the Jackets, who have redefined themselves as a hard-working, two-way team. Ribeiro impressed in Dallas during the 2007-08 season and playoffs, but last year he reverted to his inconsistent ways. While he was impacted by injuries to key teammates, there are those who continue to wonder about his character.

Jackets GM Scott Howson believes he has a young group of dynamic forwards that are ready to take big steps forward in the coming years. That's why he'd like to upgrade his blue line. He admits, though, that it won't be easy to do. A veteran, but still young, D like Jordan Leopold might make sense in Columbus.

The team does have some cap room, but they'll have to be careful how they use it. They aren't going to spend to the upper limit and they have to worry about getting Nash signed beyond the 2009-10 season.

Iain Fyffe is a writer for Puck Prospectus. E.J. Hradek is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Note: A mainstay of Puck Prospectus's metrics is "Goals Versus Threshold" (GVT). The stat blends an array of offensive and defensive figures to measure the value, in terms of goals, a player contributes above what the marginal player would over the course of the season. A marginal player is one that could be replaced with a player of equivalent skill, e.g. from the minors. For instance, Evgeni Malkin had an offensive GVT of +18.9, a defensive GVT of +4.5 and a total GVT of +23.4 for the 2008-9 regular season, meaning that Malkin was worth 23.4 goals more than a marginal player over the course of the season, or worth about 0.3 additional goals per game. In the team context, GVT refers to performance above an NHL average team. For the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings had a +30.8 offensive GVT, a +15.1 defensive GVT, a -21.5 goaltending GVT, for a +24.4 total GVT. Therefore, at even strength, Detroit was 24.4 goals better than the average team.



Last edited by davetherave on Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

12What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:55 pm

Guest


Guest
Voracek will be Nash`s playmaker.

13What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:15 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
NOVOTNY NOT GRANTED OFFER, OTHERS STILL WAIT
Aaron Portzline, Columbus Dispatch, June 22, 2009

Jiri Novotny, a restricted free agent, will not be back with the Blue Jackets next season, The Dispatch has learned.


Novotny, a 25-year-old forward, has been informed by the club that he will not be granted a qualifying offer, allowing him to be a free agent July 1.

In two seasons with the Blue Jackets, Novotny had 12 goals, 17 assists and 66 penalty minutes in 107 games.

The Blue Jackets have four other NHL-level restricted free agents -- left winger Alexandre Picard, defensemen Marc Methot and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, and goaltender Dan LaCosta.

It seems likely that a qualifying offer will be extended to all four, but Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson said a decision will be made next weekend after the NHL entry draft.

14What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:59 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
The juggling continues as the Jackets get the 21st pick from the Ducks...

15What's Next for the Blue Jackets? Empty Re: What's Next for the Blue Jackets? on Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:01 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
The RDS panel is comparing Moore to Paul Coffey...if that's the case the Jackets have done very well for themselves.

Sponsored content


Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 2]

Go to page : 1, 2  Next

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum