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Category: Columbus-Blue-Jackets

Season Ticket Sales Take A Hit In Columbus

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,

The Blue Jackets are still feeling the affects of arguably their most disappointing season in franchise history.

The club confirmed to the Dispatch its season ticket sales are down 24.5 percent from a year ago. The organization has sold 7,700 season subscriptions to date—or 2,500 fewer than last year….

Jackets alternate captain R.J. Umberger said the club has to give fans a reason to pack Nationwide Arena.

“You can’t really blame them almost,” Umberger said of fan frustration. “They want to see a winning team. They pay a lot of money to come to the games and they want to see a good performance.

“If we’d been in the league 70 years and had eight Stanley Cups or some history, it might be a different story if you have a couple of bad years. We’re still trying to establish ourselves as an organization and city in this league.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Columbus Hockey Goes Hardcore

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Get ready to hear the phrase “Hardcore Hockey” this season. Nobody with the Blue Jackets has uttered it publicly yet (to our knowlege), but that statement hangs in at least three places in and around the Blue Jackets’ dressing room.

Not bad, actually. I’d put it ahead of “Ignite The Night” and behind “Carry The Flag”, but that’s just shooting from the hip.

Every day, it seems, new coach Scott Arniel’s dressing-room makeover takes another step forward. Wonder when the wet bar will be added to the pressbox?

continue for a little more and some rookie tournament talk too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can Blue Jackets Adapt To Change?

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel obviously knows the game of hockey and the NHL, having played the sport as a professional for 17 seasons. He has a decade of coaching experience, the last four seasons as a head coach in the American Hockey League. No question he’s ready and qualified to guide an NHL club.

But think about the message sent when the fourth-worst club in the NHL makes exactly one roster change the following off-season, and that change is claiming a third- or fourth-line winger (Ethan Moreau) off waivers.

Basically, the message is that Ken Hitchcock is to blame for all that ailed the Blue Jackets in 2009-10, that a fresh, energetic, uplifting approach from the new coach and his similarly dispositioned assistants can make up 16 points and six spots in the Western Conference standings.

Arniel plans to play a puck-possession, high-tempo style that most players prefer, a style that is in stark contrast to the retreat-and-react style drummed home the previous three-plus seasons in Columbus.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Is Steve Mason A $3M Goalie?

via Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

Goaltender Steve Mason and forward Jake Voracek are entering the last year of their entry-level deals, which means that since July 1, the Blue Jackets have been able to sign them to extensions. But general manager Scott Howson isn’t talking about the matter.

It doesn’t matter. The Blue Jackets believe that Mason is going to be a franchise goaltender, so his sophomore slump works to the club’s advantage. If Mason had followed the 2008-09 season, when he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, with another big year, he might have been looking at $6 million per season. Now, it’s probably half that.

The team’s personnel people think that Voracek will ultimately be a point-a-game guy, so they will try to lock him up long term before he becomes that. The question is whether Voracek will opt for a little more security or take a chance that a big year is coming up. The argument in favor of Voracek waiting is that he could end up on the first line with Rick Nash and Antoine Vermette, which could inflate his totals.

It’s easy to see why Howson wouldn’t want to discuss this in public.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+mason

Hitchcock Still Under Contract With Columbus

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

The best chance for Hitchcock to be hired as a coach now - even he admits this - is during the 2010-11 season, when, inevitably, an NHL team fires its coach after a slow start.

But the Blue Jackets won’t wait that long. Priest and Howson have had general discussions about Hitchcock in recent weeks, and they plan to begin hammering out details of his new job when Hitchcock returns to Columbus late this week.

It’s a matter they want settled before training camp opens Sept. 17, Howson said. Many are treading lightly on the subject.

“As long as he’s under contract with us, we’ll find something for him to do that brings value to our organization,” Priest said.

But nobody’s quite sure what that will entail, though there are at least a handful of possibilities.

“I’ll wait for Mike or Scott to come tell me,” Hitchcock said. “I have my own plans of what I would like to do, but I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes or be in the way.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Columbus Did Make An Offer For Kaberle

via Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets offered no players from their NHL roster in trade talks with Toronto for Tomas Kaberle, the Dispatch has learned. This is hardly surprising given that Kaberle had only one season remaining on his deal. (Some of the projected proposals—i.e. Jake Voracek—were entertaining.) It’s believed the Jackets’ offer was centered around draft picks and prospects. While Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said he was looking for a top-6 forward—hey, there’s nothing wrong with putting that out in the media, right?—it’s thought he was amenable to draft picks or prospects or a combination of both.

Clearly, Burke did not get what he wanted from the Jackets or anyone else. Who knows what happens next, but Kaberle holds the hammer with his no-trade clause. Remember, last season at the trade deadline, when given a chance to play for a playoff contender, Kaberle reportedly submitted a list of three teams where he would agree to be traded. Three teams. Kaberle is like George Costanza refusing to leave Play Now no matter how hostile a work environment management creates.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

The Latest Kaberle Trade Watch

via Darren Dreger tweet,

One team from each conference still in the hunt for Kaberle. Sources say there’s still a chance he gets traded tonight, but not likely.

added 8:29pm,

The Jackets are no longer in serious contention for Kaberle, an NHL source told the Dispatch. Jackets general manager Scott Howson and Toronto general Brian Burke had several good discussions, the source said, but there’s “no fit there.”

continued

added 9:15pm, via Nick Kypreos tweet,

With Bieksa and Mitchell in play, its slowed the urgency for Kaberle. As of now teams like SJ seems more interested in grit than finesse.

added 11:00pm, via Scott Burnside tweet,

Barring a miracle (ie. In the next hour) Tomas Kaberle will remain a Maple Leaf. Now back to Madmen.

added 11:59pm, via Darren Dreger tweet,

No trade for Kaberle

added 12:07am 8/16/10, via MapleLeafs.com,

STATEMENT FROM BRIAN BURKE

The hockey club confirms this evening that Tomas Kaberle remains a Leaf. While a number of Clubs made offers to trade for Tomas, none of them reflected Tomas’s value to our team. I understand a period like this is stressful to the player, and we are pleased that there is a resolution, and we can all continue to prepare for the coming season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Evening Line

How much does a club in a non-traditional market, with scant playoff history, surrender for a player who has only one year remaining on his deal? It’s a tough question. I think Kaberle-to-Columbus remains a long shot, but it makes for an intriguing weekend.

-Tom Reed of Puck-rakers.  More on is Kaberle a fit in Columbus.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

All Nikita Filatov

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

Question: You look like you’ve added some muscle. Are you bigger?

Answer: Yes, of course. I’ve gained, like, 14 pounds. I’m at 186 or 187 (pounds).

Q: This is the earliest you’ve arrived in advance of a season. Why?

A: Lots of factors. The changing of coaches is (part of it). I just changed my mind, that maybe it would be better if I was here earlier. More time to get ready, to get comfortable.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikita+filatov

Stralman Reaches Contract Agreement With Columbus Before Arbitration

via Aaron Portzline tweet,

#CBJ and D Anton Stralman reach terms on a one-year, $1.95 million contract, avoid arbitration.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+stralman

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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