Columbus Blue Jackets News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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7/25/13: Just as the Blue Jackets were making their move up the Western Conference, they get a bit of a gift by being realigned into the Eastern Conference, along with the Detroit Red Wings. There are two big benefits here. First, the Eastern Conference is not as strong as the West, meaning Columbus is probably in a posititon to make the playoffs next season. Secondly, there is a lot less travel now since they will not be taking as many west coast trips as in previous years - they will be able to stay in the Eastern time zone for most games and should not have as much fatigue as in past years.
7/18/13: Things are looking up in Columbus. The team, in their 12 years of existence, have only made the playoffs once (they were swept, so they are still looking for their first playoff win) and have only finished with a winning record twice. What they do have is excellent management with John Davidson as President and Jarmo Kekilian as GM. They also have Vezina Trophy winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and a growing core of talent. Don't expect them to compete for the division crown this coming season, but it is within reason to expect them to make the playoffs.
7/11/13: Columbus is debating whether or not to extend an offer to their leading scorer from last season, Vinny Prospal. A year ago, this would have been a no-brainer. But there is a new management team in Columbus led by former St. Louis Blues president John Davidson and former St. Louis Blues assistant GM Jarmo Kekalainen. The fact is that Prospal led the team in scoring with 30 points - not that much. He is also 38 years old. Prospal has expressed a desire to return. Now the ball is in the court of the Blue Jackets, so do not be surprised if Prospal ends up elsewhere next year while the team tries to get younger.
7/4/13: You can sleep easy, Columbus - Sergei Bobrovski is not going anywhere. That was a concern a few weeks ago, however. Bobs was talking to a team in the KHL (Russia) about returning to his homeland for the next season. However, the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner opted for a two year contract with Columbus - giving the team the starting goalie they need. Bobs was a big reason that Columbus went from worst in the NHL to one point shy of making the playoffs. Blue Jacket fans should have some faith, they have the best front office guys in the business now, so they should be able to build a winning franchise.
6/20/13: Congratulations are in order for Blue Jackets' goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy in the NHL for being the best goaltender in the league. He beat out the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist (last year's winner) and the Sharks Antti Niemi for the award. Bobrovsky finished the regular season with a 2.00 goals against average and a .932 save percentage in 38 games. While the Blue Jackets did not make the playoffs, they were in contention until the last day of the season. They would not have been that close if not for Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets are hoping to build upon this season, but they are going to have to pay to keep their goalie as he is wanted by the KHL.
6/13/13: The top order of business for the Columbus Blue Jackets must be resigning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky came to Columbus in the past offseason as a talented but inconsistent goalie. He finished the season as a Vezina Trophy finalist and among the best in the NHL. Indeed, the Blue Jackets would not have made it to the last day of the season to be eliminated from playoff contention without him. Unfortunately for Columbus, Bobrovsky has been in contract talks with both the Blue Jackets and SKA of the KHL (Russian pro league). Columbus may need to open up their wallet to keep him.
4/25/13: The Blue Jackets simply will not go away. They were supposed to finish near the cellar of the Western Conference (again) this year, but have grown up quicker than expected in the second half of this season. Columbus currently holds the eight and final playoff spot and are one point ahead of the storied Detroit Red Wings. History says that Detroit will find a way to get into the playoffs and continue their quarter century long streak of post season appearances. However, everyone outside of Detroit is rooting for Columbus to make the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history.
4/11/13: The upstart Columbus Blue Jackets went into St. Louis last Friday looking to show big brother that they can play too. The Blue Jackets made some big moves at the trade deadline, the biggest was trading for Marion Gaberk from the New York Rangers. This bold move showed the Jackets faithful that the team was not surrendering the season, but would make an all out push for the playoffs. The Blues stand in their way. However, the Blues are on a hot streak, and put down Columbus 3-1. The Blue Jackets have a ways to go to qualify for the postseason, but right now, they are certainly in the mix.
4/4/13: The resurgence of the Columbus Blue Jackets has come quicker than most expected. Columbus is playing some of the best hockey in the NHL right now. If the playoffs started today, they would be in and perennial powerhouse St. Louis would be out. There is a lot of hockey left to be played before the playoff teams are seeded, but this is a big shot in the arm for the Blue Jackets. While the players are making plays, credit should be given to former Blues president and current Blue Jackets president John Davidson for putting life back into this perpetually underachieving team.
3/21/13: Once John Davidson took the job with Columbus, with the remarkable task of rebuilding a sunken franchise in a small midwest market, the joke was the he would turn the Blue Jackets into the Blues East. That is becoming more and more true, as Columbus will be moving out of the Western Conference and into the Eastern Conference. Joining the Blue Jackets in the move will be the Detroit Red Wings, who will be leaving traditional rivals St. Louis and Chicago behind. To help balance those moves, Winnipeg will joining the Western conference, meaning 16 teams in the East and 14 teams in the West.
2/28/13: The Blue Jackets hiring of former Blues president John Davidson, and his subsequent firing of GM Scott Howson then hiring of Jarmo Kekalian as his replacement indicates that Columbus is becoming the Blues East. Which is not such a bad thing. The Blues are among the top teams in the Western Conference due to Davidson and Jarmo. But a new realignment plan would take that a step further and put the Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference. Considering that Columbus a relatively new team without historical rivalries, this does make sense. Just hope the NHL and players can agree about it.
2/21/13: New Blue Jackets president John Davidson fired GM Scott Howson last week and replaced him with an old friend: Jarmo Kekalainen. Davidson and Jarmo worked together with the St. Louis Blues a few years ago, and Jarmo is credited with bringing in talented players like T.J. Oshie, David Perron, and Patrik Berglund. Jarmo knows talent, and the proof is in how strong the Blues are right now. He spent the last couple of years back in Europe, and is now the first European general manager in NHL history. Columbus fans should be happy, this is a great addition to the team.
2/14/13: The Columbus Blue Jackets fired general manager Scott Howson after five and a half years of service. The Blue Jackets hired former St. Louis Blues president John Davidson a few months ago to run their hockey operations and get the team competitive again - just as he did with St. Louis. The team has been among the worst in the league for the past few years, finishing a the very bottom last season. This season, they are 4-7-2, and in last place in the Central Division. Columbus has had a hard time luring top free agents and traded their best player Rick Nash in the offseason when it was apparent that he would not re-sign.
11/29/12: It always seems to be one step forward and two steps back for the Blue Jackets. After finally trading Rick Nash and bringing in some prospects to develop, the league stops play due to a lockout. When they finally bring in competent leadership (John Davidson) who can guide the team and put it on the map, their first All Star Game gets cancelled. At least that is the news this week. The NHL announced that games are officially cancelled through December 14, as well as the February All Star Game that was to be held in Columbus. The city and franchise will likely get another All Star Game in a few years, but that is not guaranteed.
11/22/12: The Blue Jackets have a lot of hope and faith in Ryan Murray. Murray was the first defenseman selected in the draft (No. 2 overall), and is expected to be a cornerstone of the franchise for many years. He was the top ranked defenseman going into the draft, and has all the skills needed to succeed at the NHL level. Murray however, suffered a shoulder injury. He will travel to Columbus for an MRI and be examined by team doctors. The injury to his labrum may end his season now, with the hopes he can return at full strength next season.
11/15/12: Very little news out of Columbus this week as the NHL lockout drags on. Columbus' biggest moves of the year are the trade of franchise player Rick Nash to the New York Rangers (finally) and the hiring of former St. Louis Blues President John Davidson. Davidson did a magnificent job in his seven years with St. Louis. He rebuilt the franchise and returned them to elite status in the NHL. The Blue Jackets job may be more daunting as the Jackets lack the local legacy the Blues had, and is even a smaller market. However, Blue Jacket fans should be pleased with the hire, as Davidson is a tremendous asset to any organization.
11/8/12: Even though the players and owners are back at the bargaining table, there is still not anticipated end in sight for the lockout. Games have been cancelled through November, and the Winter Classic (originally scheduled for The Big House at University of Michigan) will not be played - a big public relations loss, especially since two Original Six teams (Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs) were scheduled to play. That does not bode well for Columbus, who is scheduled to host the All-Star Game in February. Unfortunately, without a breakthrough soon, this game will be cancelled as well.
11/1/12: Count another player as an overseas defector during the lockout. Veteran forward Vinny Prospal signed an agreement with HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic. Despite being 37, he played in all 82 games last season. He led the Blue Jackets in assists with 39, and was second on the team with 55 points. The team rewarded Prospal with a one-year, $2.5 million deal - that at the very least, will be shortened by 25%. When NHL play does resume, it is posible that Prospal will be named Captain now that Rick Nash is on the Rangers.
10/18/12: St. Louis' loss is Columbus' gain. Just a few weeks after John Davidson announced he was leaving his post as President of the St. Louis Blues, the Blue Jackets are reportedly willing to give Davidson complete controll of hockey operations. JD will meet with Blue Jackets ownership in the near future to discuss a deal. Davidson earned a lot of credit for turning around the Blues. A few years ago they were the laughingstock of the NHL (sound familiar, Columbus?) but now are among the elite teams in the league. Best of luck to JD, and a great addition for the Blue JaJackets if they can come to an agreement.
10/4/12: Brandon Dubinsky was one of the key pieces in the Rick Nash trade, and he has refered to the his opportunity with the Blue Jackets as a great opportunity. But due to the lockout, hockey fans in Alaska will see Dubinsky before those in Columbus. Dubinsky signed to play with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL. He becomes the fourth NHLer to come to the Aces, joining fellow Alaska natives Scott Gomez, Joey Crabb, and Nate Thompson. If Vegas has odds, the Aces have to be the favorites of the ECHL at this point, at least until the lockout ends and the NHL can start again.
8/16/12: Without question, goaltending and defense were the downfall of the 2011-12 Tampa Bay Lightning. While the offense was shining, the backend was among the worst in the league, and those shortcomings kept the Bolts out of the playoffs. General Manager Steve Yzerman addressed the glaring netminding issue by trading for Nashville backup Anders Lindback - so check that off the list. Tampa signed Matt Carle for defense, and now Tampa's 2008 first round pick (No. 6) Mark Barberio may make the leap from minor league start to everyday player. Barberio was named the top defenseman in the AHL with 61 points in 74 games.
8/2/12: Columbus still is feeling the fallout from the Rick Nash trade. Obviously, the verdict is still out on who got the best of the trade, especially, the potential of Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov. Dubinsky is a grinder who could potentially be a 50 point scorer, while Anisimov may be able to pop in 20 goals in a full season. Many fans wonder if that was the best trade the Blue Jackets could negotiate, but Columbus was not dealing from a position of strength. Nash wanted to leave, had veto power, and a few only teams he would go to.
7/26/12: Columbus finally traded franchise player Rick Nash. Nash holds almost all franchise offensive records, but has asked for a trade for months as the team rebuilds. The Blue Jackets accepted an offer from the Rangers, from which Columbus acquired forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon, and a first round pick in 2013. The trade probably does not make Columbus any better or worse right away. The team has a lot of years of rebuilding in order to make the playoffs in the West, though this trade may help the foundation down the road.
5/23/12: An interesting factoid about the Blue Jackets: Columbus is a veteran of the lottery process, having been involved 11 times in their 12 year existence. However, not once have they been able to improve their placement. This year was no exception. The Blue Jackets placed last in the league, giving them the best chance of 'winning' the number one overall pick at 48.2%. Edmonton, who only had a 25% chance of getting the #1, ended up getting their ping-pong ball called and the Blue Jackets got #2. Twelve years is not Cubs-like bad luck, but there is something eerie going on in Ohio.
5/15/12: Less is more for Todd Richards, who had the 'interim' word stripped from his title, and is now the full-time head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Richards was 77-71-16 in two seasons as head coach of the Minnesota Wild from 2009-2011. He joined Columbus last offseason as an assistant. However, the team started with just 11 wins in the first half of the season, and promoted Richards when they fired Scott Arniel. The Blue Jackets finished the season 18-21-2 under Richards, but still finished in last place in the NHL. Richards was given a two-year deal, and expects to continue the rebuilding.
5/11/12: The Blue Jackets best player, Rick Nash, reached the 30-goal plateau for the sixth time this season, but had little help otherwise. Nash asked for a trade mid-season, but was not moved. Conventional wisdom indicates that Nash will be traded in the offseason, likely around the draft. One interesting possibility is trading Nash for Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo. Columbus needs to find a replacement for Steve Mason, who was around the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. Whether Columbus can or will be able to absorb Luongo's enormous contract remains to be seen. However, finding goaltending help is an enormous issue.
5/3/12: The NHL and Columbus Blue Jackets introduced the new logo for the 2013 NHL All-Star Game. Columbus will host its first All-Star Celebration in the beautiful Nationwide Arena on January 26-27, 2013. The game has evolved over the years, featuring not only the game, but a variety of events. The most recent games featured drafts, where team captains selected their players from a pool of the finest players in the world. The Skills Competition is always exciting, featuring contests in speed, passing accuracy, stick handling, goaltending, and the king of all - the Slapshot Competition to see who has the hardest shot in the league.
4/25/12: The Columbus Blue Jackets struggled mightily this past season and have holes to fill in almost every position. While playing in the NHL's toughest division does not make life any easier - facing Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and Nashville on a regular basis is difficult for even the best teams - the Blue Jackets have still not been able to identify and develop talent like their counterparts. Rick Nash is best player, but there have been rumors all season about trading him for good, young talent and/or draft picks. Columbus won't be competitive overnight, but developing a solid base would be a start.
4/15/12: Columbus had Ken Hitchcock on staff and many believed he would return to the bench and coach the Blue Jackets at some point. Instead, the Blues hired Hitchcock just 13 games into the season. He then took a 6-7 St. Louis team to 42 more victories and a first-place finish in the brutal Central division. Columbus stumbled all year finishing with a league worst 29 wins/65 points. They have too many holes to fill in a single offseason, and are miles behind the rest of the division, all of whom finished in the top 5 in the West in points.
Columbus Blue Jackets Tickets -Team History
Columbus Blue Jackets tickets allow fans the opportunity to see one of the NHL's newest franchises begin to write its own history. Established in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team along with the Minnesota Wild. The Blue Jackets play their games at Nationwide Arena and have called the venue home since 2000. Watch as the Jackets build a new legacy and work to bring a Stanley Cup to Columbus!
Columbus Blue Jackets Tickets -Season Info
It's been tough sledding for the Columbus Blue Jackets in recent years, but the team looks to take big steps forward by focusing on its youth. Last season didn't begin the way the Blue Jackets planned, but encouragement and hope comes with the hiring of new head coach Scott Arniel. With perennial All-Star and captain Rick Nash leading the way, the Blue Jackets have a core of hungry young players working to get the franchise back into playoff contention. The Blue Jackets had an exciting offseason in 2011, trading Jakub Voracek for star forward Jeff Carter of the Philadelphia Flyers. Some analysts are predicting that Carter and Nash will combine for over 80 goals! Columbus finally has the bonafide number-one center that they've been looking for. Jeff Carter and Rick Nash will look to lead the Blue Jackets back to the playoffs in the 2011-12 campaign!
Columbus Blue Jackets Tickets -Ticket Information
Columbus Blue Jackets tickets ensure that fans see the Blue Jackets playing top contenders throughout the entire NHL season. The Jackets have their work cut out for them in a tough Central Division. With matchups against great teams like the Detroit Redwings and Chicago Blackhawks and non-divisional meetings with Zdeno Chara's Boston Bruins, the Blue Jackets are sure to be tested all season long. Grab your Jackets tickets now and don't miss the action!
Columbus Blue Jackets Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Columbus Blue Jackets First Game 2013
Columbus Blue Jackets Regular Season Last Game 2013
Columbus Blue Jackets Preseason Beginning 2013
BLUE JACKETS SCORES4 wins, 3 losses (57.1%)
Mar 8, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 1 - 0 Nashville Predators Mar 6, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 1 - 6 Chicago Blackhawks Mar 4, 2014 Dallas Stars 2 - 4 Columbus Blue Jackets Mar 3, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 2 - 1 Toronto Maple Leafs Mar 1, 2014 Florida Panthers 3 - 6 Columbus Blue Jackets Feb 27, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 2 - 5 New Jersey Devils Feb 6, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 1 - 2 Los Angeles Kings Feb 3, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 4 - 2 Anaheim Ducks Feb 1, 2014 Florida Panthers 1 - 4 Columbus Blue Jackets
Mar 10, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets vs Dallas Stars Mar 11, 2014 Detroit Red Wings vs Columbus Blue Jackets Mar 13, 2014 San Jose Sharks vs Columbus Blue Jackets Mar 15, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets vs Minnesota Wild Mar 18, 2014 Carolina Hurricanes vs Columbus Blue Jackets Mar 20, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets vs Montreal Canadiens Mar 21, 2014 New York Rangers vs Columbus Blue Jackets Mar 23, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets vs New York Islanders Mar 25, 2014 Detroit Red Wings vs Columbus Blue Jackets Mar 28, 2014 Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets Mar 29, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets vs Carolina Hurricanes Apr 1, 2014 Colorado Avalanche vs Columbus Blue Jackets Apr 3, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets vs Philadelphia Flyers Apr 4, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Columbus Blue Jackets Apr 6, 2014 New York Islanders vs Columbus Blue Jackets Apr 8, 2014 Phoenix Coyotes vs Columbus Blue Jackets Apr 11, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets vs Tampa Bay Lightning Apr 12, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets vs Florida Panthers