directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: The dog days

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The dog days

Alls quiet on the Blue Jackets front and it will most likely remain that way for the next couple of weeks as players start to trickle into town for the start of veteran camp on September 19th.

In the meantime we do have some new Filatov news courtesy of Puck-rakers:

The agent for Nikita Filatov said Wednesday that the Blue Jackets’ first-round pick could have his work visa by the end of the week.

Don Meehan, who also represents goalie Pascal Leclaire, is optimistic the U.S. Consulate in Moscow will issue the work document in the coming days although the wait might stretch into next week.

The agent said Filatov, the No. 6 overall pick, already has been through the interview process and U.S. officials have his passport on file. Filatov probably won’t leave Russia immediately, Meehan said. The forward will spend a little more time at home before flying to Columbus.

That is good news. Not sure why he wants to spend more time in Russia as I thought the plan all along was to come to Columbus in early August. Hopefully there aren't any feet starting to get cold if so Howson better ship over some warmer socks stat!

Draft watchers. has released their preliminary rankings for next season and if your going to stink its a good year to be the absolutely worst in the league as there are 2 studs expected to sit right at the top until next June in John Tavares and Victor Hedman. Here are the early top 5:

1. John Tavares, C – Oshawa Generals (OHL): Will he still be the No. 1 draft pick in 2009? Will the Gens trade him to the London Knights? Is Johnny T burning out under the spotlight or will he rise to levels we’ve never seen before? All provocative questions; for the answers, of course, we’ll have to wait. Draft eligible in 2009.

2. Victor Hedman, D – MoDo (Swe.): The dude with the chance to dethrone Tavares, Hedman has NHL size (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) and a whole basket of good traits to go with it. He has also played against men twice his age already in the Swedish Elite League. Draft eligible in 2009.

3. Brayden Schenn, C – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL): After putting up more than a point per game as a 16-year-old in the Dub, look for Schenn to rack up even bigger numbers in ’08-09 – especially if older brother Luke isn’t defending in Kelowna. Draft eligible in 2009.

4. Taylor Hall, C – Windsor Spitfires (OHL): He doesn’t have the same level of hype as Tavares, but Hall is another 16-year-old who put up serious numbers in his rookie campaign and will be gunning for more this year. Plus, he’s also a late birthday, so NHL teams will have to wait a little longer for this sniper. Draft eligible in 2010.

5. Jeremy Morin, C – U.S. NTDP (NAHL): Morin led Team USA in scoring last season and recently scored an invite to Team USA’s evaluation camp for the world juniors, despite being only 17. Draft eligible in 2009.

The 2009 draft is said to be even deeper than the 2008 one -- lets hope for once the Jackets don't have to worry about scouting the top 10.

Unfortunately THN also has the Jackets as one of the top 10 teams in contention for John Tavares:

9. Columbus Blue Jackets. It’ll be eight years and no NHL playoffs in Ohio.

Oooh how I hope the Jackets shut guys like this up this season.

Allen Muir is speculates on who will make the Canadian men's Olympic hockey team in 2010. Nash makes the list:

Pencil the silky smooth Vincent Lecavalier in for the second line. It's impossible to forget his magnificent performance during Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup run in 2004, or his clutch overtime goal against the Czechs that advanced Canada to the finals of the last World Cup. His passing skills should make the most of Rick Nash, who has 21 goals in 27 games at the Worlds and should be motivated by his poor performance in Torino.

As does Hitch:

Grab Mike Babcock as the head coach, assisted by Ken Hitchcock and Dave Tippett, and you'll have an elite bench staff.

Man the Canadians are going to crazy good let alone they'll be the hosting country. Yowza.

Puck-rakers also is encouraging readers to email in questions to Scott Howson -- here's your chance to fire away -- email @



mike said...

Indeed it would be nice for once to not immediately think about draft prospects once the 82nd. game of the season for the CBJ goes to 0:00. It seems like Tavares is eons ahead of everyone else anyways, along with Hedson, and surely the CBJ won't fall that badly in the standings, if at all. Anyways it is nice again to see Hitch and Nasher get some more love from the media.

Matt said...

In Filatov's case, we gotta remember that he's leaving his home country, and all his friends / family behind. Depending on how things go with the KHL and IIHF, he may not be able to go back there safely for a very long time.

I can't blame him for wanting to take a last few days to capture the place in his mind, just in case he isn't going to be able to see it again for three or four years.

(Anyone who thinks I am exaggerating? Look at what happened to Svitov back when he was drafted by the NHL, where he was literally kidnapped and held under guard to prevent him from leaving the country.)

Anonymous said...

You know, I might have thought that about Filatov going back to Russia too, except that Malkin went right back over there after his first season and was welcomed with open arms. Malkin didn't piss off a billionaire, though.

At best, though, he probably won't be back home again until next April.

Matt said...

Not just a billionaire. A billionaire with some fairly large suspected ties to the Russian mob.

If I were Filatov's agent? I'd keep him in the US in the offseason and buy a damn good security system for wherever he decides to live.