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Category: Columbus-Blue-Jackets

Columbus On The Right Path

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

In 40 months, general manager Scott Howson has overhauled the roster and the coaching staff. His predecessor had 111 months and left a nine-year mess. Is it cleaned up? Not fully, not yet. But I am a believer in Howson. At the very least, the Jackets have evolved, and the roster is deeper in talent than it ever was.

A team has some depth when it has a checking line with Sammy Pahlsson in the middle and Ethan Moreau and R.J. Umberger on the wings. It is a team that can match up. And I like the top six, with Antoine Vermette centering Kristian Huselius and Nash, and Nikita Filatov and Jake Voracek on the flanks of Derick Brassard. The Jackets have never had a trio as skilled, promising and compelling as the kid line.

Does the need remain for a top center? Yes. Does Brassard have to live up to his promise, finally? Yes, but he doesn’t have to be an All-Star. Does Nash have to do better than 67 points? Yes. And he will, guaranteed. He is an All-Star.


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

The Bolts Beat, 10/5/10: Predictions Special

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys offer their conference forecasts, predicting teams 15 all the way to 1 for both the West and the East. Cramming details for all 30 teams into an hour show proved to be a formidable task, with those projected as non-playoff clubs getting far lengthier explanations than those the hosts see qualifying for postseason play. Spoiler alert: Obligatory Alex Tanguay cracks included, the Lightning make the playoffs and Jon’s orange-and-blue hallucinations return (sort of).


Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+season+preview, predictions

A Win For The City Of Columbus

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

The team and the city of Columbus stand to benefit from a boost of international recognition that local officials say could be unmatched.

“When we sign on for the radio broadcast and say, ‘Live from Stockholm,’ or when people pick up the newspaper and see a Stockholm (dateline), that’s when it’ll hit people,” Blue Jackets vice president of business operations Larry Hoepfner said. “It’s Columbus and it’s the Blue Jackets, playing on a world stage in front of an international audience.

“It’s exciting. I think when the puck drops, people will realize the magnitude of this opportunity.”...

“I’m not sure that anything in recent memory would be on this level,” said Linda Logan, executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. “This will elevate the reputation of Columbus to Scandinavia, certainly, but also most of Europe. It’s already been helped, frankly, by some of the Blue Jackets players who are from that part of the world, and this furthers it.

“It’s hard to quantify it, really, but anytime you can do something like this, it helps our image. It puts us on the map with people on the other side of the world.”


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

Will The Blue Jackets System Work?

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Last season, Jackets general manager Scott Howson shucked his inherited coach, Ken Hitchcock, whose idea of transition is to douse it in gas and light a match. Over the summer, Howson passed on hiring Kevin Dineen - whose style has Hitch-ian aspects of confrontation and grit - and instead chose Scott Arniel to be the new coach. Arniel came in preaching an up-tempo style, one which is supposed to suit the Jackets’ personnel.

Will it work?

It is not advanced calculus. One of the Jackets defensemen will join rushes when the opportunity presents itself. Both defensemen have more freedom to pinch in from the blue line. The aim is to apply more pressure, which creates more passing opportunities, which might lead to more offense.

This is the way the NHL is going. The lockout wrought new rules that sped up the game and reintroduced the stretch pass. Stanley Cup winners - Carolina, Pittsburgh and Chicago, pointedly - got faster and more offensive. The game changed.


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

The Fighting Blue Jackets

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

...if the Blue Jackets truly buy into Arniel’s system - which calls for pressuring the puck and confronting the puck-carrier at all spots on the ice - the organized mayhem that took place on Saturday against the Penguins could be seen a few more times this season.

The thought of feistiness spilling into violence prompted a grin and this summary comment from Arniel: “So be it.”

“I just tell the guys to fight on their terms,” Arniel said. “Fight when you’re ready to fight, not just when somebody else decides that because you ran somebody over he’s mad at you.

“We’re going to do whatever we can to disrupt the opposition. More of it may come up because we’re going to be in more of an attack mode.”

read on

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

Enjoy The Columbus Blue Jackets Experience

from Steph Greegor ot The Other Paper,

...John Browne, the team’s new senior vice president in charge of sales and marketing. Browne has been on the job for about six weeks now, following 22 years in the sports industry on the business side. Browne’s last gig was as the NHL’s vice president of club consulting.

“My job with the league was to go and spread best practices throughout the league,” he said. “So I would go and travel and visit with teams in Canada, teams in traditional markets like Detroit or Boston, and teams in nontraditional markets like Phoenix or Tampa Bay, and find out what’s working and what’s not for each team.”

It’s a boon for Columbus to get someone in marketing with that much knowledge about other NHL clubs at a time when the team is struggling to find its identity and then sell it to a disheartened public.

“Certainly it is a competitive product and you want the team winning,” said Browne. “But it’s also about the experience.”

Browne is hoping the firing canon, the mini-blimp dropping Chipotle coupons on the crowd from above, the Wendy’s free chili when they score three goals, the Pepsi girls and Stinger will distract you from the fact that the team just simply hasn’t performed very well.


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

Filatov Feels He Is Maturing

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

Nikita Filatov is being watched and he knows it.

There are no dossiers being kept, only mental notes. The 20-year-old isn’t some character under suspicion in an Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn novel. He’s a talented left winger trying to make a good second impression with the Blue Jackets….

What time does he get to the rink? How much effort is he putting into his off-ice conditioning? Does he carry himself with an air of entitlement?

“You don’t have to be real smart to know that after I left last year the respect and the relationship would be different,” Filatov said. “I just hope I know the way to get it back. I spoke to (teammate Fedor Tyutin) about how to handle things and my behavior here. It’s probably going to take some time.

“I think I have changed. I get more mature and older. I know there are small moments where I have to pay attention more to being a good teammate.”

read on

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

Souray For Commodore Could Be A Match

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The important thing is that even if they are larger than life characters, neither Commodore nor Souray is a bad guy - and that’s critical for any team worried about tampering with fragile chemistry and impressionable personalities.

So it will be interesting to see how the conversation evolves - and if it actually turns into something more than just testing the waters. Most times, these sorts of talks die because there are too many variables in play and ultimately just gets too complicated. Once in a while, a couple of motivated and inspired GMs find a fit - and make it work. For all of the principals, this should be one of those times.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+commodore, sheldon+souray

Morning Line

Souray is a risk worth taking. If he comes aboard, he would be the best defenseman on the Jackets’ roster - arguably, the best they have ever had. He says he is healthy and seeking redemption. His swagger and brashness would be welcome among a troop of Boy Scouts, in a town where season-ticket sales have tanked, on a team with a huge hole on the power play.

-Michale Arace of the Columbus Dispatch where you can read more on Souray.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

Report- Steve Mason Agrees To Extension With Columbus

via Bob McKenzie tweet,

Sources say CBJ netminder Steve Mason has agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension, $2.6M and $3.2M for an AAV of $2.9M.

added 2:32pm, via Aaron Portzline tweet,

#CBJ confirm two-year contract extension w G Steve Mason. $2.6M in 2011-12, $3.2M in 2012-13. Will be announced by club later today.

added 3:42pm, from a Columbus Blue Jackets release,

“Steve Mason is a young goaltender with great size and athleticism and we are very pleased that we were able to agree on this contract extension,” said Howson.  “He is an important member of our team and we’re excited that he will continue to be a significant contributor to our hockey club in the future.”

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

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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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