Offseason Report: Columbus Blue Jackets
From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.
29-46-7, 65 points. 15th in Western Conference, fifth in Central Division. Worst team in NHL.
Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, Nick Foligno, Adrian Aucoin, Sergei Bobrovsky
Rick Nash, Aaron Johnson, Darryl Boyce, Brett Lebda, Radek Martinek
First round, second overall -- Ryan Murray (D - Everett - WHL)
After the season started with so much hope and even some folks thinking a summer filled with big moves would lead to the playoffs, things crashed and burned as bad as they ever could have.
The trade for Jeff Carter flamed out and he was dealt to L.A. for Jack Johnson and Carter went on to win the Stanley Cup. Figures, right? James Wisniewski dealt with injuries and suspensions and Rick Nash got tired of carrying the team and managed to get himself traded, finally, this summer.
Things were so typically Blue Jackets that even in spite of having the worst record in the league they still didn’t land the top overall pick in the draft. They’re practically the Eeyore of the NHL.
Now that they’ve moved on from having Nash be the leader of the team, they’ll look to be more of a team-oriented organization. Anisimov gives them a solid centerman while Dubinsky is a gutsy player. Nick Foligno should get plenty of time to grind things out with R.J. Umberger and company.
Their blue line corps is going to be young but there’s reasons for hope. Along with Johnson and Wisniewski, Nikita Nikitin is proving to be a solid pickup while young guys like Murray, Erixon, and John Moore. Growing pains will be hard, but at least there’s hope. A goalie tandem of Bobrovsky and Steve Mason might drive Jackets fans insane.
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