directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets fans strike back

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jackets fans strike back

In case you missed it a reader of the Dispatch wrote in the following last week:

Mr. Stein: You people continue to show your financial interest in the Blue Jackets.

Do you really believe the sports masses in central Ohio are interested in names of hockey players, whom most of us could not pronounce, in a two-page spread (last Sunday)? Yawn. Also, there was an inordinate amount of space dedicated to the NHL draft when not too many folks are interested.

During the Ohio State football offseason, I'm sure you can find more compelling material to communicate to your sports readers. Thank God for the Internet and publications such as Buckeye Sports Bulletin, where I can find real entertainment and sporting information. I understand the desperation to keep hockey relevant in central Ohio, but your constant draft, post-draft, and free-agency material is way overdone.

I don't hear chatter about this sport around water coolers, at the grocery store, barbershop, car wash or bank. Guess what is on everyone's mind in Columbus?

-- Keith B. Whittington

These comments did not surprise me and are typical of some of the "traditional" sports fans in this market whom for some reason feel threatened in some strange way by the existence of a professional hockey team instead of recognizing all the benefits, even if they don't like the sport, a pro sports franchise brings to a city.

Well the good news is that many Jacket fans did not let these comments go unnoticed and fired back in this week's Dispatch with count em 8 published rebuttals to Keith B. Whittington. I liked this one the best:

Editor: I hope you guys listen to Whittington and provide more Buckeye coverage during the offseason. I'm confident readers will be at the edge of their seat when reading "Brutus Buckeye to Get New Pants Design" or "Tressel Ready to Give New Synthetic Football a Toss."

I've been a Buckeye fan all my life and have taken it to heart when non-Buckeye friends spoke of the "over-the-top" fans. I was having a hard time imagining what they were talking about. Thanks to Mr. Whittington, I now have a clear picture.

-- Tony Kopyar, Dublin

You can read the rest of the comments here. Way to make some noise Jackets fans!!

Speaking of the Dispatch -- have they done a tremendous job or what in covering the Jackets over the past few weeks? Remember it never hurts to send a little feedback and believe it or not feedback does not always have to be negative. So if you've got a few minutes and like their coverage shoot them an email at the following address:

According to this Antoinne Vermette has asked to be traded from the Ottawa Senators. Vermette is an RFA looking for a long term deal and Ottawa may not be willing to give him what he'd like to due to having to sign another RFA in Mezzaros and filling some other roster holes. The recent signing of Jason Williams would seem to indicate Vermette's days in Ottawa could be numbered.

What is strange to me is why would Vermette file for arbitration if he wanted a long term deal? Wouldn't it make sense to keep yourself available to offer sheets?

Now its no secret how much I love this guy and what a great addition I think he would make to the core of the Jackets' lineup.

Vermette is a 25 year old forward who can lineup at any position including the all important center position. In 81 games last year he had 24g for 53 points.

How would this look?

Nash Vermette Huselius
Modin Umberger Torres


Nash Vermette Huselius
Modin Brassard Umberger
Chimera Peca Torres

I'm excited about what we've got thus far but adding a guy like Vermette would have me doing back flips in my living room.

The only problem is if Howson is interested and if so what do we have to give up?

Indications point towards the Sens wanting an inexpensive puck moving top 4 d-man in return. Aside from the "puck-moving" part the most obvious player on this roster that meets that description is Rusty Klesla.

Klesla is certainly a top 4 d-man but hasn't quite rounded out any area of his game. Still he can log big minutes and is very affordable signed at 1.65 million this season and 2.25 million the next.
Would Howson consider moving him and create a hole in a relatively solid top 4 at the expense of strengthening the offense? Would Ottawa be interested?

If not I really don't see any other assets we could consider parting with outside of guys like Rome/Tollefesen/Methot which I doubt Ottawa would be interested in. I don't see Howson moving his 1st or 2nd round picks. I'm sure they would consider Backman but his price tag is to big.

Also we have to consider Vermette's price tag. No doubt he would be looking for something similar to what Umberger signed for. His age and production are similar. Could the Jackets afford that? Yes they have plenty of cap space but as always in this market its not about the cap space -- its about the internal budget. Once Leclaire is signed the Jackets are looking at right around 48 million in payroll which would put them in that 48-50 million payroll range I expected them to be in.

At this point I wouldn't hold your breathe for a trade that would bring Vermette to cow town. I think Howson would most certainly be interested but I don't think we have the trade assets or the budget room to make it happen.

If there is a deal that makes sense Howson will make it.



Keith B. Whittington said...

If the Dispatch wastes all it space covering Figure Skating, how will I find the latest news about real buff macho men in skin tight pants spanking each other on their round bottoms?

Keith B. Whittington said...

The Dispatch spends too much time covering the Blue Jackets. I don't want to know about contracts and impacts new players might make on a failing team. I want to know about the physical measurements and and pictures of shirtless, barely legal young men. Thanks to the Dispatch, I don't know the exact size of Terrelle Pryor's creamy thighs.

Max said...

I work for OSU's bus service called CABS. We take the players to the practice facility from the hotel. There's nothing going on right now. No news, no nothing. I don't know what Keith B. Whittington wants the Dispatch to write about. Keith, sorry bud, but you're a tool.

LTL said...

Max - I think we have a Keith B Whittington imposter on Light the Lamp.

Although funny I want the real Keith B. - the one that capitalizes his name!


Pyle said...

Why in the world would Howson be set on holding onto draft picks?

As too many people have had to say, "enough draft picks!"

LTL said...

pyle - a couple of reasons I can think of off the bat.

"When" we are in contention at the deadline we'll need some ammo to make additions.

"If" for some reason we are out of contention 2009 is said to be deeper than this year's crop.

I could see Howson dealing it at the deadlin if we are in contention.

Right now I just can't see him moving it for a guy like Vermette - never know though.

I know people are sick of drafting but its how you build a winner. Unfortunately we have sucked at drafting hence we are where we are.

*Hopefully* Brassard/Voracek/Filatov/Russell/Mason can buck that trend.


Max said...

LTL, I know our pal "keith" is an impostor. Look carefully at the time stamp between his 2nd comment and mine. Also for some reason the forum software doesn't capitalize names. That still doesn't mean he isn't a tool. From late July to March the dispatch devotes a healthy portion of the sports section to OSU football. Hell, on there's even a sports section DEDICATATED to OSU sports. As for Vermette, what an opportunity, for any team that pursues him. He's young and seems to be a pretty good player. Of course I'd love to see him in a Blue sweater, but I'm with you. I don't want to give up too much. Maybe a player and a 3rd round pick. But, we'll see. Exciting times in Columbus!

Scott S said...

I don't know if the Vermette requesting a trade part of the rumor is true or not, but both THN and TSN are reporting that Williams has actually signed with the Thrashers.

LTL said...

Scott - good point. Perhaps that rumor has no legs. It certainly doesn't make as much sense now with Williams joining Hainsey in Atlanta.

Max - it never did occur to me that everyone is lower case. Thx for heads up.

The fine details in life that are missed by me :)


Max said...

LTL, no problem. Thanks for providing us rabid Jackets fans with all the great info!