Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/09/07 at 09:59 AM ET
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The first step, Hitchcock said, is for the Blue Jackets to get in better physical shape, especially the young players.
That, it seems, is the root cause of the Blue Jackets’ so-called soft label.
In 2005-06, after defenseman Francois Beauchemin was traded from Columbus to Anaheim, he said it wasn’t until he joined the Ducks that he truly understood what it meant to be in NHL shape.
An NHL source told The Dispatch that Ducks general manager Brian Burke placed a call a few weeks later to then-Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean offering him some friendly advice: get your team in shape.
MacLean didn’t take the advice well—understandably—and a once-tight friendship with Burke has been rocky ever since.
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