directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Here today... Gare tomorrow..

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Here today... Gare tomorrow..

That's it? After all the buildup and speculation about who would and would not be back the only changes they make are parting ways with Danny Gare and moving Davidge to the TV booth?

I'm not quite sure how he alone gets singled out of this group... then again I don't like the way this entire thing has been handled from the start.

If this was going to be the end game then why not just announce it and get it over with as soon as the season concluded? Why the long drawn out process?

My guess is it's because Hoepfner, Sharrock and the rest of the "brass" had no idea what direction they wanted to go which isn't the most comforting sign from the Jackets executive wing.

Anyhow.. I'm glad it's sorted out and we can all put this to bed. I wish Danny Gare the best of luck in the future as I'm sure he'll land on his feet.

As for those that are remaining I hope they see this as a wake up call or sorts and work on upping their games. I also hope that the chemistry between Rimer/Davidge is worlds better than what existed between the Rimer/Gabe combo.

In terms of the open position, I'd love to see a former Jacket player get a shot in the booth next to Mathews. Of course it does no good to just throw anyone whose worn the union blue up there -- they have to have some talent. I've always thought Tyler Wright or Jody Shelley would make great color men. Obviously Tyler has a good gig as Jackets Development Coach and Jody is still playing with the Sharks.

Perhaps a guy like Geoff Sanderson? Ron Tugnutt maybe?

How about this update from Puck-rakers that gave a shout out to the 4 central Ohio kids who were drafted by the Ontario Hockey League?

JC Campagna of Dublin was drafted in the fifth round by the Sarnia. Connor Burton of Westerville was taken in the eighth round by the Plymouth, who also drafted Sean Kuraly of Dublin in the 15th round. Connor Murphy of Dublin went in the 15th round to Sarnia.

First off.. congrats to these fellas for getting drafted.

Secondly... wow has hockey in central Ohio come a long way in just 8 short years or what?

For those that aren't familiar with Canadian Hockey Leagues let me post this from Wikipedia:

The Canadian Hockey League is an umbrella organization that represents the three Canadian-based Major Junior ice hockey leagues for players 16 to 20 years of age. The CHL was founded in 1975 as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League,[1] and is comprised of its three member leagues, the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League. Despite the league's name, its three leagues and 60 teams represent five American states as well as nine Canadian provinces.

The general consensus amongst the "experts" is that the Canadian Major Juniors is the best path to reach the NHL. They play a similar grinding schedule, the style of play is as close to pro as you can get (they even allow fighting) and it provides the best competition at that level. A large majority of your annual draft picks come from the OHL, WHL & QMJHL.

Similar to how folks follow players in college football and basketball in the states, that is how Canadians follow players in these leagues. Once a particular player is drafted from their favorite major junior team they tend to follow that player throughout his career.

Eddie George will always be a Buckeye right? Well Rick Nash will always be a London Knight so forth and so on.

Now that said, the NCAA D1 route is certainly closing the gap. The benefit of a player going to the NCAA route is 1. they get an education and 2. teams that draft players out of the NCAA have 4 years to sign that player as opposed to two years if they draft them out of junior. Those extra years can be crucial towards judging a players development and if they have the ability to play in the NHL.

Check out this stat:

The pressure to commit to Canadian (CHL) junior is severe for many young players. The “insinuations” as to potential for making it to the NHL are often strong — even though the odds are very low at 4 percent. U.S. College coaches, on the other hand, are offering a lesser chance at the NHL (2 percent), but a better long term “life” success through a college degree.

For those that would like to read about the NCAA vs. Canadian Hockey League be sure to click here and here.

Getting back to these central Ohio kids though for a get drafted by an OHL team is a significant accomplishment whether they play there or not. It's a tremendous sign that hockey programs in this area are improving from the players, to the coaching, to the facilities, to commitments towards the sport to right on down the line.

Chances are the majority of these kids will go the college route (hopefully to an Ohio college with a great program like OSU, Miami or Bowling Green) but if they continue to develop the junior leagues will come knockin harder on their doors (see Zac Dalpe)... and with their track record for putting players in the NHL it's not an easy decision.

If you think about it these kids were probably 8 or 9 when the Jackets arrived and my guess is that most probably weren't interested or even playing the game. That is grass roots people. That is what the NHL is after when they award teams to non-traditional markets.

..and it's only going get better. I can't wait for the day when a central Ohio kid makes it to the NHL.



Max said...

Bye Danny. I'll miss you. Sure I hated your use of the telestrator. But you knew the game. Maybe the CBJ brass should hire him as the shooting coach. How many announcers went above and beyond to help the development of young players?

Should have been Rimmer, but he's got a buddy up high.

Don't like the split of George and Bill. They had very good chemistry, something that Gare was never allowed to develop with Rimmer.

Cory said...

I was never a Gare fan, and I'm glad I'll never have to hear him butcher saying Malhotra, which he never said the same way twice, and never said correctly.

That said, I don't know why they've announced that they're moving Davidge over when they don't even know who they're bringing in.

I'd love to see Tugnutt back with the team, in the booth or as the goaltending coach.

Andrew said...

Danny I will miss ya...loved hearing your "war stories"

I definitely noticed the love for Nasher up in London, especially when I told them I'm from Columbus.....


rocket said...

Didn't a central Ohio kid get drafted in the 7th (er last) round a few years back into the NHL?

I grew up playing hockey in central ohio during the Jackets arrival and at that time, making a Jr. B team was good and making a US Jr. A team was like making the big show, not a lot of kids did it. Playing in the 'O' was a dream, but we all knew it was out of reach. It is so cool to see that this is not out of reach now for central ohio kids. The Jackets are doing a phenomenal job getting people addicted to this, well, addicting sport. Just wish it would spread to Cincinnati... ugh.

Hitch Rules said...

What about having Danny Gare stay with the team as, let's say, a consultant? Could he be any worse than the "coaching" that took place on their PP, this season? The man DID score 50 goals in a season - twice.

Also, Danny did work with Brass, a little, and I believe the rapport was really good.

Danny was also an assistant coach with the Bolts, a few years ago.

No matter what, Danny, we'll miss ya - a great guy and a true class act.

DP@WFNY said...

I thought Danny was a great guy, but he's a horrible on-air guy. He just can't get the words out of his mouth. His telestrations are the stuff of Jackets-lore for the rest of time.

I don't get them splitting up George and Bill... if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I wonder if it was all a smoke screen so as NOT to single DG out.

The fact that Rims is staying makes as little sense as moving Davidge does, but much like Verbal in "Usual Suspects" Rims is protected from up on high.