Kukla's Korner

Vermette Signs Extension!

The Blue Jackets have signed Vermette to a contract extension.  It is a 5-year contract, worth $18.75 million.

The Blue Jackets have been busy this summer locking up Nash, Brassard, and Dorsett. 

This is a great move.  Vermette made an immediate impact on the team when he came to us last season.

More on this later (after work).

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Rook and UFA Season!

So much has happened with the Blue Jackets, and I promise to get all caught up this week as my life has decided to calm down for a bit.  Free agency starts tomorrow and there are a few items of business to take care of before I hop into that mess.

First of all the Blue Jackets have been blessed with a new goaltending coach, David Rook.  Steve Mason of course is thrilled to have Rook apart of the organization. 

“If I’m playing poorly, he will not hesitate to tell me to pick up my game,” Mason said. “When things aren’t going well, he has been able to get me out of the rut.”

That’s a good thing for the Jackets.  Last season as Mason struggled to find his form, and having a goaltenders coach who has a history with Mason will certainly help.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, david+rook, ole-kristian+tollefsen, rick+nash

Sin Tax…and the Jackets

The Blue Jackets had five bloggers get together yesterday for a roundtable discussion.  I was lucky enough to be asked to go to the meeting and to have Senior Vice President of the Blue Jackets, Greg Kirstein, explain the entire situation to us in regards to the sin tax (the tax on alcohol and cigarettes), and the exact situation that is happening with the Blue Jackets.  Mike Priest is currently on vacation which was why he was not there meeting with us.

I am not a resident of Columbus or Franklin County so the ‘sin tax’ has nothing to do with me…except my team is involved.

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Off Season is Slow

With the Blue Jackets out of the playoffs it’s hard to blog when…well there’s not a lot to say and it’s quite boring.

Talks with Manny Malhotra are underway, Howson has made Manny the priority UFA for the Jackets…personally I was thinking Williams first, but again, I’m not the general manager of this hockey club.

Malhotra has been with the Jackets since the 2003-2004 season.  He’s a leader on the team and he and his family are comfortable here.  Aaron Portzline thinks it will be a three-year deal at about $5 million…but again, you never know with these contracts.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, manny+malhotra

Updates from the CBJ World

So much to report on in the world of the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Most importantly, Ryan Salmons passed away on Friday, May, 1, he was only 19 years old.  The news hit me like a ton of bricks. After the Jackets signed him I had the opportunity to meet Ryan twice, he was such a strong person, and is such a hero.  Ryan was a huge part of the Blue Jackets, many of the fans including myself, got behind Ryan, and cheered him on, we grew attached to him.

Ryan had the opportunity to see both of the Blue Jackets home playoff games.  He will never know how many people he touched in his short life, but I am so thankful that his family allowed us to get to know him.

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Mason and More

So, while I was on my short hiatus Steve Mason was nominated for the Vezina Trophy.  Steve Mason, the rookie who lead the way for the Blue Jackets to enter in their first ever playoff.  Wow.  Mason is also nominated for the Calder.  While I am pretty sure that Tim Thomas will be taking home the Vezina, it’s great to see Mason recognized for what he accomplished this season.

“It’s an unbelievable honor,” Mason said. “When you look around the NHL and see the type of goaltenders who play in the league ... to be considered in the top three is really special.

“I know I couldn’t have done it without the players around me and without the opportunity (coach Ken Hitchcock) and (general manager Scott Howson) gave me this season.”

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And that is that…

My cousin (the Preds fan) asked me on the way home if I had to choose getting swept in the playoffs or just not making it at all which would I choose.

Without thinking I chose getting swept in the playoffs.  The Columbus Blue Jackets earned their spot and while we had an extremely short run, it was amazing.

The Jackets came to play tonight, and they were able to come back to tie the game…twice.

The crowd was amazing, almost deafening at times, they got behind the Jackets and pushed them to be better.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, detroit+red+wings

Do or Die

That’s the situation the Blue Jackets are in tonight as the puck drops on game four. 

The Blue Jackets have only scored two goals in this series, both courtesy of RJ Umberger.

Game three was the best I’ve seen the Jackets play in the playoffs, but again they came up short, and well, it was quite the depressing scene.  The building was set to go crazy if the Blue Jackets got into the game.

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I need to sleep on this…

Jackets are down 0-3 in the series, I am down with the plague it seems like, and quite frankly I can’t put this game into words yet…but here, enjoy Commodore spending some time in the Red Wings bench.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, detroit+red+wings

Is Vermette the answer?

Vermette practiced on the top line with Rick Nash on his right and Huselius on his left.  I suppose we will see tomorrow if it’s going to pay off.  If I am thinking on a level as a coach…we need the offense and this is something to spark the offense.  With my thinking I’m not one for rewarding a player who isn’t playing well and Vermette hasn’t played well this series.  Of course if they score some goals tomorrow then I will just eat my words.

Vermette has the speed and the skill to play with Nash and Juice, and that’s why we brought him in.

Tomorrow night the Blue Jackets play their first ever HOME playoff game.  Nationwide has always been kind to the Blue Jackets, and hopefully it will remain the same tomorrow.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, detroit+red+wings, rick+nash

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