After a hectic trade deadline, playoffs, and off-season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, opinions seem to be split regarding all aspects of the team's direction.
Thanks to Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic, we now have fans' opinions of their front offices in a quantifiable, visual platform. Each front office had its ability graded in six categories: Roster building, cap management, drafting and development, trading, free agency and vision. Grades are separated into two categories: fans of the team, and public opinion (fans of another team).
So, how'd the Blue Jackets' front office score?
Unfortunately, in the bottom half.
Overall, the Blue Jackets came in at 17th out of 31 teams. They placed 12th in the same survey this time last year.
In every category, Blue Jackets fans felt more optimistic than the general public. The results are below (places out of 31 teams):
- Public: 22nd
- Fan Base 16th
- Public: 12th
- Fan Base: 4th
- Public: 19th
- Fan Base: 10th
- Public: 21st
- Fan Base: 11th
- Public: 26th
- Fan Base: 20th
- Public: 24th
- Fan Base: 15th
Luszczyszyn also included some quotes from fans that shed light on the rankings:
“Mortgages future on unrestricted free agents that did not stay with club. Too high a price for a second round playoff exit.”
“Columbus’s big gamble last season not only keeping players who were approaching free agency but also adding more at the deadline hurt my confidence in the team. It was exciting to follow the team at the deadline and into the playoffs, but I worry about the long-term vision for the team now.”
The Blue Jackets are now bigger underdogs in the eyes of other fans, with the general public having less faith in them than before — who knew that was even possible?
It's clear that Blue Jackets fans still have a ton of faith in their front office, despite what the masses think.
It's Columbus against the world, once again.