All-Blogs.net directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: ESPN predicts the Jackets to finish 9th in the West

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ESPN predicts the Jackets to finish 9th in the West

Check out where ESPN's Terry Frei expects the Jackets to finish::


9. Columbus Blue JacketsRick Nash had been saying all the right things about playing in Columbus and for coach Ken Hitchcock, but there were times, including when Hitchcock tried him at center last season in a motivational ploy, when it was natural to wonder whether Nash frequently wondered what he could do under someone else. Now that he has signed a long-term extension, it means he won't be approaching unrestricted free agency this season and won't be asked 27,284 times whether he could picture himself in a Maple Leafs sweater. Now, the only asterisk is whether it comes down to having to pick between Nash and Hitchcock if they don't get along; we all know what the choice will be. Samuel Pahlsson gives the Jackets a checking center Hitchcock can love, and Mathieu Garon can be a solid backup for Steve Mason.
Obviously its very premature to be speculate about playoff positions at this stage but hey, got to fill the sports sites with somethin in the offseason.

This guy has 7 of the 8 teams in last year's playoffs returning and of course, has the Jackets missing. All I will say is that only 4 of the previous year's teams returned and that over the past couple of seasons there has been at least one team fall like a rock (right Colorado?). The Jackets won't be one of those and I fully expect them to be right there in the mix next season.

Nice to see the Jackets not make this list of THN's top 10 worst contracts. No surprise to see who is listed at #1:


1. Marian Gaborik, LW, New York Rangers – five years, $37.5 million After managing to move one onerous contract out of town (Scott Gomez), GM Glen Sather simply took on another. Gaborik will count for $7.5 million towards the cap (tied for seventh in the league), more than any other player signed this summer. Unfortunately for Rangers fans, you can expect him to not put up numbers worthy of such a cap hit. Gaborik will be a point-per-game player, but expect that to mean 60 points or so on average. He’s electric on the ice, but can’t stay healthy. Even more discouraging, Gaborik demonstrated a me-first attitude while working to get back to the battling-for-the-playoffs Wild when he admitted to not watching Minnesota games and worrying only about his return. A health risk and a seemingly selfish player; not a good mix.

Will they ever learn?

Finally some enouraging words via Spector's keyboard after the Nash extension:

SPECTOR'S NOTE: The Blue Jackets are poised to become a perennial playoff contender, perhaps even a Cup contender in the near future. Having Nash as the centerpiece will certainly make them an attractive destination in the coming years.
Thanks for the link Kevin!

-LTL

8 comments:

Stephen said...

Nash and Hitch didn't get along? Not sure if I agree with that. Mainly that Nash probably wouldn't have resigned.

I think it was more of buying into Hitch's system, of defense first. Nash PK time showed he was all in, and had a great year.

Plus the time at C may have been desperation of the CBJ.

Rick said...

Going out on a limb here... I predict the Red Wings to fall to 3rd in the Central, behind the CBJ at #2 and the 'Hawks at #1. Last season was good. This season will be the "break-out" year.

LTL said...

Yeah Stephen.. that point is bunk. If Nash didn't get along with Hitch he sure wouldn't have signed an 8 year extenion.

Once again ESPN overlooks the youth on the Jackets roster and what their impact will be on team performance.

Rick - I'd love nothing better than to see the Wings take a nosedive next season... but that damn PP of theirs.. ugh.

-LTL

patrick said...

if the jackets do make the playoffs next year (and they will), then we are likely looking at 4 teams again making the playoffs from the central division. could be 5 if sullivan/arnott stay healthy for the preds. chicago and detroit are automatic. blues have loads of young talent (i hope we play better against them next year, they really gave us a hard time). the scary thing is that the only teams that may take a nosedive are the flames (kipper keeps getting worse, lack of scoring with no camalleri) and the canucks (losing ohlund is going to hurt)...but someone has to win that division. meanwhile, the preds and kings will be competing for a spot next year. the west needs 10 spots for the easts 6. wings, hawks, blues, jackets, ducks, sharks, canucks, kings make playoffs

Wally said...

ESPN?

They don't even like hockey, what do they know?!?

jemhuff said...

Well, since most "experts" had us finishing 13th-15th in the West last year, and we actually finished 7th, does that mean with a prediction of 9th place that we'll actually be 3rd or 4th this coming season? ;-)

Mase1 said...

9th, huh? Well, I seem to recall that the 4-letter word (E-Shill-P-N) - remember,all things NYC) predicted the CBJ to finish 13th, last year, and, right to the end, A-Holes like Scott Burnside said they would falter in making the playoffs.

Like Leafs' fan, they (Burnside and the 4-letter) need to get over their massive egos and deal with the fact that, gawd forbid, they might make a mistake or 2...so, expect the 4-letter to pick the Blueshirts to win the Eastern Conference...

Case in point? See Melrose picking the Wings in 4 or 5 against the Pens...nuff said!

viqsi said...

That's not "ESPN" per se. That's Terry Frei, a Denver Post reporter who never really forgave us for the crime of failing to like Adam Foote. I wouldn't pay him any mind.