In recent seasons, I have found myself taking in a number of games from teams outside of my rooting interests. You know by now that I am a Penguins fan but my second favorite team for the last decade has been the Kings. A few seasons ago, I happened to watch quite a few Sharks games out of interest but didn’t continue that the following season.
Last year, I found myself having a pretty decent interest in the Blue Jackets by nothing more than mere chance. In addition to viewing games, I also found myself learning about the team and the market and even putting my Armchair GM thinking cap on. Perhaps I was trying to improve myself as a hockey fan by finally taking an interest in a team a mere three hour drive down I-70 that I have been sheltered from thanks to them being in the Western Conference for their existence. Whatever it may be, unlike other casual interests in recent years, the Blue Jackets will get another season of interest from me.
This is an introduction into my project for the upcoming season giving periodic thoughts and updates while watching a second Blue Jackets season. There is no set goals with this. I cant tell you if I am looking for a third team, a 2B to go along with a 2A team, or if it may just remain something casual. Though I will tell any Blue Jackets fans that view this that I am highly susceptible to bribes and threats of coercion via sad puppy eyes!
So far, I find myself feeling a nice dose of optimism for the Jackets season already based off the post-season to date. Ive seen what seemed like many complaints about Scott Howson’s ‘wait and see’ approach last season but I found it a calculated risk that just didnt pay off. Know he knows who will fit in with Arniel’s system and who wont and the necessary changes have begun to take form.
I like the Carter deal for multiple reasons. While the cost was high as you would expect, it says a lot about the desire to improve immediately as opposed to holding those high draft picks and waiting to develop them in some sort of three or five year plan. Getting a top flight center will allow Ryan Johansen the time to properly develop as I dont feel it would be good for him to get thrown into the fire already.
The Wisniewski signing I also like. It is easy for pundits to want to think this was a gross over payment and this is almost going to be Wade Redden-esque. But people need to understand that you will always overpay on July 1st and you will overpay to acquire the services of someone you want. And that is the important part here, the Jackets got the guy that they wanted and it fills yet another organizational need.
Despite not having a first round pick due to the Carter deal, getting Boone Jenner in the second round could be a great find for the Jackets. With some luck, proper development, and some chemistry it is quite possible the Jackets will be quite strong down the middle in the near future.
I am interested in seeing how Marc Methot will play after getting his four year $12 million contract. Seems like like a Rob Scuderi type of stay at home defenseman. I wonder will this guy become the future shutdown defenseman or is he more of a second pairing guy.
Also cant wait for a full year of Grant Clitsome. Maybe this project will contain a running counter of immature jokes, something I do excel at.
Not sure when the next installment will be. Soon as I find something that inspires me to pen…er…type my thoughts out for you all. For any Blue Jackets fans that may read this, please feel free to point me in direction of any good sources, sites, people and the like. The intent of this project is more than just me viewing games as i do hope to get some interaction with long time and passionate fans of the Blue Jackets as well.
Until next time…LEO!!