Thursday, April 23, 2009

Round 2 of selecting a NEW TEAM is a write in candidate, They finally made the playoffs for the first time ever. I speak of course about the Columbus Blue Jackets. They are the second team in the running and this rundown is in anticipation of them being ousted out of the playoffs sooner rather then later...probably tonight...probably another shutout for Detroit.

They have now appointed their number 1 goal tending job to rookie Steve Mason. Mason was great in the World Juniors when he played and has had a very successful 1st season and is posting 10 shutouts and is the leading candidate to win the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year. The only concern is that perhaps it could be part of the system they play in and also will he fall into the realm of the infamous sophomore jinx, similar to what a Carey Price is going through right now. It seems that as teams find tendencies on goaltenders it can expose them and exploit any weaknesses.

The Jackets have some other good young players in on the team and in the system. Jakub Voracek, Nikita Filatov, Derick Brassard, Cody Goloubef, Stefan Legein, Kris Russell. A good base to build upon for sure.

Getting Antoine Vermette should help out Kristian Huselius and Rick Nash with the offence a bit but he isn’t enough to make that big of an impact. Now there is the big name and the big question mark...Rick Nash. This is the dangerous one, does he sign an extension and at what amount and/or term. That could go a long way in determining the short and long term success of the team. Nash is clearly the franchise player and the leader but has never had much support and so far during the playoffs not much success. Does that make him more hungry or just bitter.
Not knowing some of these major details makes it tough to stomach making them a front runner in the race to be selected. Also the fact that they have a lot of money spent this season it will be interesting to see how they use any possible space next year. Having Mike Commodore locked up for 4 more years at $3.7M isn’t helping their case any.

They are a viable option and is a deserving to be a finalist but at this point they look to be a an outsider. Perhaps a longer push in the playoffs may have helped their cause but I just don’t trust the team at this point going forward. I also hate to say it but I really don’t have much love for the logo and that isn’t helping their cause much either.

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