Friday, July 1, 2016

Columbus Blue Jackets: State of the Union

If there has been anything we have learned from the Blue Jackets, it's to expect the unexpected. As we move into the offseason this has been no different. As the team looks to improve upon a lackluster 2015 season, the thought has to be, how can this not trend upwards.

Last week, during the 2016 NHL Draft, the Blue Jackets stunned the hockey world when they picked Pierre-Luc Debois over Finnish superstar Jesse Puljujarvi. They went with the center over the forward. Let's be real, how many forwards do the Blue Jackets need? The other reason has to be Puljujarvi just had knee surgery and would miss all of developmental camp. Would you risk a top pick on someone that young, having knee surgery already? I wouldn't.

They talked about trading down the pick. Many of the experts believed that Debois would have been available if they dropped down to the 5th or 6th pick. This might have been a better idea, maybe get an extra pick or two to drop down. In the end, they picked Debois and you have to live with it. He might not be NHL ready like Puljujarvi, but at 6'2" and over 200; he fits the mold of the classic grind it out Blue Jackets player that the fans in Columbus have come to love.

The Blue Jackets provided more draft night surprises when they traded Kerby Rychel to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Scott Harrington and a conditional pick. Rychel had requested a trade early in the season when it became apparent that he was not in the Blue Jackets cards. He spent a good deal of time down in the AHL. A little bit head scratching here because it seems like they gave away a decent prospect for little value in return. Harrington had barely played last season and Rychel was a main contributor on the Lake Erie Monsters, that won the Calder Cup

In less shocking news, the Blue Jackets were able to sign Seth Jones to a long term deal. This is great in my opinion because his potential is very high. He is a puck controlling defenseman, who is young and should be a top liner for a while now. My thought is that you bring up Zach Werenski from Lake Erie and you have a great top line on the blue line. To make a comparison, Jones plays more like a Brent Seabrook and Werenski is more like a Duncan Keith, always looking to jump into the play on offense. The signing of Seth Jones, only means good things for the Blue Jackets in years to come.

An era came to an end as the Blue Jackets waived Jared Boll. A ten year veteran of the Blue Jackets, Boll was beloved by the fans. Mostly known for his enforcement roll on the team, he leads the Blue Jackets in career penalty minutes. Personally, one of my favorite players for the Blue Jackets; he was always out in the community. Whenever they had an Open House or a Draft Party, Jared Boll was always front and center with the fans. He will be truly missed.

Another era also came to end with the buyout of Fedor Tyutin. One of Scott Howson, the former GM, last laughs as he was booted out the door. Tyutin's contract was way too much than it was worth. He was making 4.5 mil a year as a second line defenseman. It was one of those contracts that you wish the Arizona Coyotes would just take off your hands. Not sure, what's next for Tyutin as he is getting older, we wish him well.

Other players that the Blue Jackets decided not to sign were Falk and Chaput. Falk was a top line defensemen that played with Werenski on the Lake Erie Monsters. He is a big guy that loves to throw the body around. A little bit of a slower skater but still, overall, a very skilled defenseman. Chaput never really got the NHL shot, I feel he deserved. A high energy guy, he was always first down on the forecheck. I hope that he has a long career in the NHL because I think he has a tremendous upside.

Well as the summer continues, I will try to update you about the Blue Jackets and how they are doing. I am a little concerned about what happened to Chaput and Rychel but on the other side of the coin it was good to free up cap space by buying out Tyutin. That freed up cap space definitely helped sign Jones to a long term deal, which is a major plus. We will have to see how Debois turns out, way too early to make any judgements there. It's going to be a wild summer, you better get your seat belts on Blue Jackets fans.

No comments:

Post a Comment