Alright guys, we’re here for the first edition of the 1st Ohio Battery Barbershop. We’re leading things off with a banger. What’s the lowest moment in Blue Jackets history?
In my mind, it's the entirety of the 2011-12 season, which is filled with low moments. It was the first time in franchise history that the Blue Jackets finished in last place, and it included a head coach getting fired, several injuries, and lots of drama.
This is honestly a tough one for me. But Jacob is leading off strong.
Jacob is going big-brush here, and I like it. My initial thought was the entirety of the Jeff Carter saga. It was just such an embarrassing time for the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets gave up so much just to get this guy (Jake Voracek and draft picks that became Sean Couturier and Nick Cousins). And even before taking into account the initial trade itself is the episode where, Rob, correct me if I'm wrong here, Rick Nash and Blue Jackets ownership had to fly to the Jersey Shore to convince a then-hiding Carter that it wasn't so bad in Columbus.
Yeah, I had a few candidates in mind. If we’re being specific, which may help, my pick is for that forgettable Penguins game back in 2010-11. There were at least 8,000 Pittsburgh fans in the building. The Blue Jackets got pumped 7-2. It was bleak. And then, a Penguins fan rode the Zamboni at Nationwide Arena between periods. Dan, that Voracek-Carter trade still hurts. Thanks for reminding me.
Haha, happy to help. If it soothes the pain... remember that the organization traded Jeff Carter to the Kings, where he went on to live in a city he wanted to be in where he also won two Cups. So demoralizing.
Any thoughts on that Penguins game?
The Pittsburgh game is an interesting thought. It's hard to pick one game that was the true lowest moment, but that's gotta be up there. There were early years in the Blue Jackets franchise where the Penguins were a joke, but by 2010-11 they were well into the era of taking over opposing buildings.
It was one of the most unbelievably bad things I can remember, and I vaguely recall the early days. Those are mostly a blur and thank god.
Yeah, agree. It almost feels like the early years should be exempt from this conversation since the expectation was there would be growing pains with a new franchise. But then again, the Wild didn't make it look so difficult...
And just as I had tried to erase that night from my memory, here we are.
I just remember the Jackets getting absolutely throttled. The building louder for Pittsburgh than it was for Columbus. And then that Penguins jersey on the Zamboni. Yikes!
Chris, enlighten us.
The lowest moment in Blue Jackets history, to me, was the 0-8 start at the beginning of the 2015-2016 season. I remember the excitement of the 2014 playoff run - how we all thought this team was on the rise. Then, we were demolished by injuries in 2014-2015, so most thought the season was a wash. Starting the following year was supposed to be a pickup of where we left off a few years back, and I remember being so utterly confused when we lost our first eight games. I just thought “Oh no...are we actually bad?! Did our window close that fast?” It was so discouraging.
That was horrible.
Oh, that’s a good addition. Chris coming in strong!
After that start, it became the least I think I ever cared about the team. We had just started to taste some success, and it felt like it just went down the drain. I wanted to give up!
That was the most looked-forward-to season in team history. A lot of things seemed lined up. And then...a big, wet, two-week fart. The season is over.
Obviously the silver lining that it brought in John Tortorella – so it wasn’t completely in vain.
And they haven't missed the playoffs in any season (other than that one) since he's been here.
That whole thing, going 0-8 out of the gate, started with a third-period collapse on opening night!
If we're being honest, Todd Richards wasn't going to be the coach to get that group over the hump, so I think I look back on it as a necessary evil. Plus, the brutal start basically gifted them a lottery pick, and they took P-L Dubois third overall that summer.
How different would it be if they won that game against the Rangers? Dan does make a good point here, though. They needed a change desperately. And this gave them a reason to, even if it was too late to save 2015-16.
However, Dan, if they would’ve tanked...they would’ve gotten Auston Matthews.
Listen, you don't need to lecture me on tanking. If this organization wasn't allergic to tanking, it would have had much more playoff success by now.
I’m a full-blown advocate for tanking. And we whiffed on generational talents back-to-back years. Add that to the list.
That's the low point. Refusing to tank. Werenski and Dubois are great. McDavid and Matthews are better
Did we just arrive at a new conclusion? Look at this teamwork.
It's hard to say it's a moment, though.
Also a fair point. I should know. I made the rules. We have a wide range of perspectives here. Jacob has the awful 2011-12 season, which was a horror to live through. Also gave the Blue Jackets a new coach! Holy Scott Arniel. What a disaster all around.
Is one season a moment?
It certainly can be.
That's a fair question, Dan. There were so many tough moments during the season that it was difficult to just pick one. Jeff Carter being traded, Arniel being fired, the 0-7-1 start, Nash almost being traded when he should have been, dropping a spot in the draft lottery (which ultimately wasn't terrible)...the list goes on and on.
The Blue Jackets have had more 0-7-1/0-8-0 starts than they’ve had playoff series wins.
You love to see it.
I still think it's Carter. 0-7-1/0-8-0 is brutal, for sure, but it's another thing when NHL players don't want to go to places they don't consider NHL cities. That was the peak of the Blue Jackets’ inferiority complex. It took years of Jack Johnson, Nick Foligno, Brandon Dubinsky, etc. basically reinventing a franchise that was 10 years old.
But to go along with the 2011-2012 season itself, it kind of left everyone saying, well, now what? That offseason, Nash left, and the team had zero direction. They weren’t unbelievably young. They had no star players. Steve Mason was a flash in a pan. Selling the team should’ve been a real conversation then.
There were some really dark moments throughout that entire season. Almost like, “can it really get worse than this?”
Right. I don’t think there was much reason to think the next would be better, somehow. But thankfully Cam, Dubi, and Bob all happened.
It's funny, too. It's like playoffs weren't even a consideration. Just don't be a dumpster fire was the bar to clear.
I remember that season being the point where it was pretty clear: major changes were needed. And it had to happen ASAP. But what can you do? The Jackets had so many issues, so many holes, so many problems—and a lot of them felt unfixable.
Really it wasn't until JD came on board in 2012-13 that I felt that the franchise was even trending in the right direction. After that everything changed.
What he said.
Big turning point was John Davidson. Can we talk about that shitty Pittsburgh game I dropped in here? Was anyone else there?
I was not.
Thankfully no, but I've been to my fair share of CBJ-PIT 50/50 crowds at Nationwide Arena.
I was probably working on my seventh-grade homework.
Jacob, that's enough.
Goodbye, young Jacob.
Honorable mention for my pick was going to be the Boomer unveiling and his subsequent 10-day existence.
Wait, I thought you said ‘low point.’
Boomer made sense to me. Everyone that franchise had become up until that point - I just had to smile and shake my head.
Well, what’s worse? The actual unveiling, or the fact he met his death after a couple of unflattering media stories?
The CBJ logo glow-up from a yellow bug that doesn't pertain to their actual name to a beautiful and iconic cannon is really fantastic.
I’ll be honest. I really like the first jersey logo. And I’m bummed they haven’t had one throwback night with them. That’s a low point for me. And I know that objectively the third jerseys are great, but all I can see is Nikita Nikitin wearing it and it makes me sad.
I envision Derek Dorsett and Vinny Prospal. On the same line. Oh, wait, that happened!
There are only ‘lowest’ moments.
Well, we’ll save the happiness for another Barbershop. We have to lead with our best stuff.
I think my honorable mention would be the 2018 loss to the Capitals. No one really took the Jackets seriously up until those years, and when we went up 2-0 in their barn, we were causing a stir in the media. Then the Caps won four-straight, and I actually remember feeling embarrassed. Like, other fan bases were making fun of us. That never happened. They never said anything about us.
Agree, thanks to the foundation laid by John Davidson after the humiliation of not being a legitimate NHL city in the eyes of Jeff Carter.
Dan, you are dying on this Jeff Carter hill.
No, I respect it. He hurt us deeply!
Mad respect, though. I don’t think anyone will truly ever get over Jeff Carter. I think we’ve put some solid fodder for discussion here, boys. Anyone thinking of changing their vote from their original contribution?
I think I’m sticking with the 0-8 start, because of the hopelessness I felt in the moment, but the entire 2011-2012 campaign and all that happened in it is a close second.
I'm going to stick with mine too but all were solid points, gents. I guess the bottom line is this franchise has had plenty of low points to choose from, huh?
That's for sure.
Well guys, this has been a fun conversation. And an unfortunate walk down memory lane. Thanks for your input, and we’ll do this again soon.