Sunday, June 15, 2008

Blue Jackets Defense

x-posted to Bethany's Hockey Rants

The Blue Jackets have a tough road ahead, we are the only team in the NHL to not make the playoffs. With Ken Hitchcock as our coach, and Scott Howson as our GM we are playing smart hockey, a defensive style of hockey, the only problem, our blue line, it's not so great. At the trade deadline we traded away our Captain, Adam Foote. I thought oh it's a huge blow, and, also my favorite player GONE. However, there was a young man by the name of Aaron Rome, who came to the rescue!!

Anyway, I am going to talk about our blue line needs, and who is in the mix for us. The Jackets need TWO NHL caliber defensemen, an offensive defenseman, and a defensive defenseman.

Jan Hejda ~ Howson signed Hejda last season, and it was probably the smartest move he made. Hejda was on our number 1 pairing along with Foote, when Foote was traded he was paired with Klesla, and they just clicked (thankfully). Hejda recently signed a 3 year deal worth $6 million dollars.

Rostislav Klesla ~ Rusty always made me nervous (I'm not the only one I have been in the press box and have heard the Dispatch writers say the same thing). However, when he was paired with Hejda, it seemed like a match made in heaven. They had tried the pairing earlier in the season, it didn't go well. Klesla is signed through the 2009-2010 season.

Aaron Rome ~ Aaron Rome was a great acquisition from the Anaheim Ducks. Rome has been one of my favorite players for some time now. He is a solid presence on the blue line. He is a defensive defenseman. He is a restricted free agent, and we made him a qualifying offer, so a contract will be done...eventually. He came up and basically took Adam Foote's spot, you very rarely notice him when he is on the ice, which is a good thing.

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen ~ OKT had a bit of a rough season, missing 31 games. He is a very strong player, he has a mean streak in him, and isn't afraid to take a hit or to drop the gloves. OKT will be a RFA at the end of the 2008-2009 season. He is a young defenseman so he still makes some mistakes, but he is learning and is improving every season.

Kris Russell ~ An extremely young offensive defenseman. I am expecting Kris to spend next season in the AHL. He made the team out of training camp, but really never got to his full potential.

Duvie Westcott ~ Duvie never really recovered from his concussions. He was sent down to Syracuse half way through the season, and was placed on waivers and no other team picked him up. There was some talk about us buying out his contract, but it has been a while since there has been a mention of it. He is signed through the 2009-2010 season.

Marc Methot ~ While he only played 9 games with the Jackets, he was a minus-1. I have never been a full on fan of Methot, he makes me extremely nervous whenever he is out there. That could be a trust factor on my part, I typically make my blue liners earn my trust.

Clay Wilson ~ Clay played 7 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and had one goal and one assist. I was so impressed with Clay on the power play he was up and down the ice faster than anything, he changed positions to forward to d-man and back again. He is amazing. I think he needs another season in the minors, but he definitely has potential to be an NHL blue liner, and he is still young.

Dan Smith, Jonathan Sigalet, Grant Clitsome, Andrei Plekhanov, Nick Holden, Brett Motherwell, Trevor Hendrikx, Jon Landry, Kyle Wharton, Teddy Ruth (aka Baby Ruth), Rob Page, Will Weber, Dmitri Kosmachev, and Evgeni Petrochinin ~ Are all players that we have the rights to. A big thanks to The Cannon for his amazing depth chart, that I used as a reference to actually write this. If you have any information about the prospects or any other insight into the other players that you'd like to share...go for it!!


elise said...

Baby Ruth!!

Bethany said...

I love me some Baby Ruth!!