This past decade saw the culture and attitude of the Blue Jackets organization change significantly.
They made the playoffs just once between 2010 and 2014, then made it three years in a row from 2016 to 2019 and were in a playoff spot this season when the NHL season was suspended.
With that in mind, I took my best stab at determining the Blue Jackets team of the decade. I balanced players' skill with their overall contribution from 1/1/2010 through 12/31/2019.
Line 1: Artemi Panarin - Ryan Johansen - Cam Atkinson
Panarin was only with the Blue Jackets for two seasons, but he broke many records during that time, including assists in a single season (59) and points in a single season (81).
Johansen's skill with the puck kept fans and players on the other team quite captivated during his time in Columbus. He put together three straight 60-point seasons* in his last three seasons with the Blue Jackets.
*The third 60-point season was split between CBJ and NSH.
Atkinson has been a staple in the Blue Jackets' lineup since the 2011-12 season, and there wasn't a more consistent scoring presence over the decade than #13.
Line 2: Rick Nash - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Nash is as talented as they come, but he had the bad luck of being on some bad Blue Jackets outfits, and there were no exceptions this decade.
Dubois gets the nod on the second line, having led this Blue Jackets club to the playoffs the last two years (and may have this year as well). He's only 21 years old, but he played all 82 games in his first two seasons and played all 70 this year.
Bjorkstrand has burst onto the scene, and he's got the talent to become a star in this league. He followed a solid 2018-19 campaign with an outstanding season despite navigating several injuries.
Line 3: Nick Foligno - Boone Jenner - Scott Hartnell
The captain finds his way onto this team thanks to his leadership, a knack for scoring clutch goals, and his acting skills (I'm only half-joking). On a serious note, Foligno has led what is consistently one of the youngest teams in the NHL to the playoffs three years in a row.
Jenner is a grinder, but he did have a 30-goal season once upon a time (like Foligno). His faceoff skills have come in handy time and time again, and he fits John Tortorella's style perfectly.
Hartnell was quietly very good for the Blue Jackets in his three years here. His hat trick against the Penguins on 12/22/2016 was quite memorable.
Line 4: Matt Calvert - R.J. Umberger - Brandon Dubinsky
Calvert was the heart and soul of the Blue Jackets, and you could tell every time he took the ice. A true warrior, he came up with two game-winning goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs during his time in Columbus.
Umberger is another grinder who found success in Columbus. He played for Ohio State, then found his way to the Blue Jackets years later. His no-look assist to Foligno in Game 4 of the ECQF in 2014 is overlooked.
Dubinsky's career may be over, which isn't the ending his story deserves. He contributed clutch goals, big hits, and leadership in the locker room — even during the 2019 playoffs when his wrist was hanging on by a thread.
Honorable Mention: Josh Anderson, Antoine Vermette, Derick Brassard
First Pair: Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
The Blue Jackets' current top pairing is their top pairing of the decade. Go figure.
Werenski is a sniper, and he led all NHL defensemen in goals this season. When you pair that with Jones, a lockdown defenseman who is a perennial Norris Trophy candidate, you may have the best pairing in the NHL.
Second Pair: Ryan Murray - David Savard
The Blue Jackets are a better team with Murray on the ice. His vision and passing ability create goals.
Partnering him is Mr. Consistent. Savard shuts down forwards, and every once in a while, he'll toe-drag by Norris Trophy winners and snipe top shelf in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Third Pair: Fedor Tyutin - James Wisniewski
Tyutin was incredibly consistent for the Blue Jackets. You knew what you were going to get from him night in and night out, which was stifling defensive work and a no-nonsense playstyle.
The Blue Jackets have had a surplus of left-handed defensemen for a while, but that wasn't always the case. Wisniewski's shot was an absolute missile, and the offensive-minded defenseman gave the Blue Jackets' offense more creativity during his time in Columbus.
Honorable Mention: Jack Johnson
Starter: Sergei Bobrovsky
There's no battle here. Bobrovsky is the best goaltender in franchise history, and his performance in the 2019 playoffs only solidified his legacy.
Backup: Joonas Korpisalo
Korpisalo was a serviceable backup to Bobrovsky, and now he's locked in a battle with Elvis Merzlikins to be the Blue Jackets' number one goaltender. He just edges out Curtis McElhinney.
Honorable Mention: Curtis McElhinney
Note: Elvis Merzlikins didn't make the cut due to the time constraints of the team. On 1/1/20, he was 1-4-4 with a .900 save percentage and 2.54 GAA.
There you have it, folks. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know.
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