directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: TSN previews the central + Jacket fantasy news

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

TSN previews the central + Jacket fantasy news

Here's what they had to say about the Jackets:

›Keys To A Successful 2007-08 Season:The course to the postseason is clear: the young stars have to elevate their game. Zherdev has plenty of upside and all he has to do is show it night in and night out. Nash, who almost single-handedly helped Canada win gold at the World Hockey Championship, should use that experience to bring more productivity and a winning attitude in Columbus. Gilbert Brule, who managed 19 points in 78 games in his rookie season, should also improve along with youngster Dan Fritche. Leclaire also has something to prove, as he'll compete with Norrena for the No. 1 job in net. While making the playoffs will be a tough task, having veterans Peca, Adam Foote and Sergei Fedorov (with a Hart Trophy, four Selke Trophies and five Stanley Cups between them) will at least make it a positive learning environment. Any way you cut it, the Blue Jackets are still a very young team. And their young players will have to play like seasoned veterans if they want a shot at the postseason.

›Young And Restless:Derick Brassard's season in Drummondville was limited to just 25 games with a dislocated shoulder, but should get a full season of development this year as the club's top prospect. Brassard, the sixth overall pick in the 2006 Entry draft, has the makings of a solid playmaking centre who can put the puck in the net. The Jackets already have their fair share of youngsters trying to find their game with the big club, so the team can afford to wait and let him mature en route to the NHL.

›Market Watch:Veteran winger David Vyborny has been Columbus' most consistent forward over the last two years, leading the team in scoring each season (64 points in 2007, 65 points in 2006). He certainly doesn't have the draw of a Dany Heatley or Marian Hossa on the open market, but could pull in a heftier salary than the $2.2 million he'll earn this season. For an underachieving Blue Jackets team, Vyborny is a solid top-six forward.

We know the story with Vyborny and its unlikely he'll hit the open market next summer as he has stated publicly his desire to stay w/ Columbus. Adam Foote, Sergie Fedorov, Michael Peca, Ron Hainsey, Jason Chimera, Jody Shelley -- well they are all also UFAs next year and we'll have to wait and see what happens there.

I agree w/ TSN though that the young guys are key but I don't think they put enough stock into what Ken Hitchcock is going to do with this group.

They did hint around part of Howson's plan this offseason which was to add solid NHL depth to a young core with the available money he had. Although Columbus may be a tuff sell to UFAs, the Jackets never dove deep into the UFA pool this summer to grab any big stars because 1. the didn't have the money and 2. the organization is not 1 big name player away from being competitive, they have to fix their foundation issues first which is what the second half of last year and this year is about.

I think this team is gonna surpirse a lot of people this year with its competitive team effort. Will it be enough for the post season? - I don't know - but it will be the best season we've ever had at Nationwide and certainly a big step in the right direction.

Read more about the Jackets and the central from TSN here.

TSN also has a full fantasy breakdown of the Jackets which can be found here. Word of advice - don't look at their point projections unless you want some heartburn.


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