directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Summer nights

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer nights

Spector chimes in on roster issues for each team. Here are his comments on the Jackets:

Columbus Blue Jackets: Expectations are high for this club to not only return to the playoffs but to build upon last season's success. What could hamper them is the lack of a seasoned puck-moving defenseman or two. Fedor Tyutin is their best offensive blueliner but he could use some help to carry that load. They've got depth on both wings they could use as trade bait.

Puck-rakers has the schedule and roster for the Traverse City Tourney. Not a lot of sexy names this year with John Moore being the lone standout although Brent Regner and Matt Calvert are guys I'm very interested in seeing as well.

By my count 18 of the 26 players are undrafted camp invitees.

Last year the NHL Network picked up some games from this tourney so hopefully the Jackets get some air time this season too.

The Anaheim Ducks are offering a buy two tickets get two free campaign:

With Buy 2, Get 2 Free, get tickets for less than $15 per seat, per game!

As Kevin points out, it wasn't so long ago that the Orange County Register was ripping Columbus as a hockey market yet they are running specials like these.

Howson chimes in with some answers to some Jacket fans questions on Puck-rakers. This one stood out to me:

Q: A couple minor-league questions. What is Syracuse telling you about Max Mayorov's potential? Is he a probable top-six winger? We had a tendency in the early years to rush young players and arguably Jake Voracek, Derick Brassard and Kris Russell could have used a year or two in the minors. Now, I hear we've guaranteed a 170-pound Russian a spot next year. Aren't we continuing to rush young players out of budget/empty cupboard concerns?

A: As I tell the players, the players decide who is on the team. Not me and not Hitch. The players decide with their performance. I am not going to get in a debate about the players you mentioned but I will say that I do not believe we rushed any of them. Max Mayorov is a very good prospect that has a chance to be a top-six winger.

Not sure which team the individual who asked this question is watching but all of these players listed were afforded at least another year of development after their draft years.

Russell spent another year in junior.

Voracek spent another year in junior.

Brassard spent another year in junior and a year in Syracuse.

Filatov, who wasn't mentioned, spent a year in Syracuse.

The only player I personally think could have used more time to bake would be Russell but I will say in the organization's defense they had absolutely no player of his skill set and Hitch has done a good job of protecting him in the lineup.

Contrast that group to Maclean whom had 3 players in his 7 drafts - Nash, Zherdev and Brule - who made the jump straight to the NHL after their draft seasons with Nash being the lone unquestionable success. Klesla also played 10 games and then was sent packing.

I agree 100% with Howson in that the player's play will decide when they are ready. Not egos or force feeding prospects to the NHL. In some cases all a player needs is a crack in that window to show they are ready (Mason) and in some cases a lack of depth in a certain position provides that opportunity (Russell).

I can honestly say I have yet to see Howson rush any prospect to the pros. He had every opportunity to do that with Brassard, Voracek and Filatov but resisted.

What will be interesting for me to watch is when one of his high profile picks doesn't pan out. He's cut the cord quickly on a number of Maclean's guys -- Zherdev, Fritsche, Brule, Lindstrom, Leclaire and Pineault to name a few. The question is how quickly will he cut the cord on one of "his guys" because as much as I'd love for it to happen, he isn't going to hit on everyone.

A player to watch in this regard is Stefan Legein.

Fire away - how do you feel about prospect development since Howson took over?



chuck said...

Derrick is one of Doug's guys.

LTL said...

Yep -- Doug did draft him but I wouldn't give him full credit for developing him.

In fact if Doug were still here I don't see Brassard spending that extra year in Syracuse which I personally think was an absolute key year for him.

He could have still panned out but he could have busted out as well.

Never know I guess! Glad we have the current version of him though!