directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Saturday Round Up

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Round Up takes a look at the 10 reasons to get excited about 08-09 and guess what, the Jackets make the list:

Will the Columbus Blue Jackets make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history? If I’m a betting man, I say no. However, if they do, it will all come down to Ken Hitchcock’s coaching.

Jackets are definitely getting some attention this summer.

Here is another read about the Jackets moves this off season (thanks for pointing this out Skraut) from Dobber Hockey:

The Jackets will be much improved. Does that mean playoffs? Possibly, not in the tough West there are no guarantees (after Detroit and Dallas). Brassard, Huselius, and Jakub Voracek will inject some needed “sting” into the Jackets offence. Their overhauled defence is much deeper, and they have solid role players. Pascal Leclaire is for real; he is a very strong technical goalie. So can captain Nash carry this team to their first playoff birth?

Be sure to check out the rest of it. They have a very sweet picture of Nash - still loe those jerseys!!

THN's takes a look at where Filatov may play next season:

The Sudbury Wolves have drafted Nikita Filatov in this year’s CHA import draft, what do you think the chances of him actually playing for the Wolves in the 08-09 season?

Shawn Skiffington, Sudbury, Ont.


I’d put the chances at about 50-50. Columbus has a lot of skilled wingers right now – Rick Nash, Freddy Modin, Kristian Huselius and you can probably pencil in rookie Jakub Voracek as a top-sixer, too.

Assuming all is well, they may want to ease Filatov in to North American hockey by letting him run up some big numbers in Sudbury.

Filatov already speaks excellent English, so there won’t be as much of a culture shock and he’ll be surrounded by talent on the Wolves; Jared Staal, Eric O’Dell and incoming rookie John McFarland are all blue-chip prospects.

On the other hand, if Filatov comes to Blue Jackets camp in the fall and blows the doors off, coach Ken Hitchcock may just have to find a place for him. – Ryan Kennedy

Personally I'd give him about a 5% chance he'll play in Sudbury. I really think Howson will want to keep his options open with Filatov and have the ability to call him up throughout the season should he not make the team out of camp. This season is just to important and the Jackets just don't have enough skill to bury him in Juniors for a season.

The flip side is that if he were sent to Juniors that would not burn a year off his contract. With young studs like Brassard, Voracek and Russell coming up for contract renewals in less than 3 years buying that extra year of eligibility would be something to consider.

Howson will do what is best for the team. If Filatov comes to camp and clearly isn't ready then they'll ship to Junior. If he shows he has the ability to contribute now or sometime this year he'll most certainly play in the AHL if not the NHL right away.

Quite frankly I can't wait to see what this kid's got in camp.

The Dispatch continues its phenomenal coverage of the Jackes this off season today. Porztline is all over this Filatov IIHF suspension stuff. There is a nice spread here and some detailed blog posts here.

I won't get into all the nitty gritty details but essentially nobody seems to be worried about Filatov making the jump to North America and that the threat of suspension of international competitions won't deter him from chasing his dream to play in the NHL this year.

Not sure who else caught this one but Chicago has named 20 year old Jonathan Toews captain.

I realize that Toews is a great young player and that ultimately Chicago saw this kid as its leader for years to come but captain already? From an outside point of view it just seems rushed. The kid only has 1 year in the NHL and has plenty of growing in his game to do.

Hopefully it works out but remember Rick Nash has 5 years in this league and just now appears ready to shoulder the responsibility of being an NHL captain.

Finally a reader pointed out that Pittsburgh fans seem intent on invading Nationwide when the Penguins come to town on Thursday March 12th.

Well Jackets fans we can certainly return the favor and travel the 3 hours east to Pittsburgh on Friday February 6th!!

I know I'm planning on it.



Max said...

I'm going to try to go, if I can convince my two buddies! Maybe we coud have a CBJ tailgate!

Tom said...

Agreed, the Dispatch has been outstanding on CBJ coverage. I still can't get over one of their writers (Portsline, I believe) schooling the guys on NHL Home Ice/XM Radio about not just the CBJ but also some of the pre-free agency action that had tangential impact on the CBJ. I've loved reading their work. And yours, too!