First off, Merry Christmas everyone.
This year has been difficult but it is good to see people persevere. We're about to get Columbus Blue Jackets hockey on January 14th. Before everyone gets to see the hometown team in action, there are a few things that they will need to lift a Stanley Cup this season.
Let's cross our fingers and hope that Santa will fulfill these items on the team's collective wishlist.
1. Top-line winger
C'mon Saint Nick. Help a guy out. Please?
In all seriousness, the Blue Jackets need scoring prowess up top and they have a few candidates to fill out the roster.
It appears that they will try out Alexandre Texier up top next to center Pierre-Luc Dubois, and he has as good a shot as any internal player to take over that slot permanently.
It is also a distinct possibility that Liam Foudy and Emil Bemstrom will be getting shots there as well. Both would have to make significant jumps for it to take place yet it isn't out of the question given their skillsets.
Still, Santa, can you make sure this gets taken care of?
2. Tortorella extension
This wasn't even on my radar until The Athletic came out with an article where they spoke with head coach John Tortorella and he wouldn't comment on if or when he would be signing an extension.
Although this writer has not been his biggest fan throughout, it would be nice to see Tortorella extended to see out this core and whether they can get over the collective hump together. The consistency of making the playoffs and getting the team to places they never would have dreamed is a big deal. Trust me, being good can sometimes underrated.
3. Fans in the arena
This is a long shot. Trust me, I know that. It would just be nice to see fans back in Nationwide Arena. It is going to take mass immunization for it to happen and get fans in the stands but you're acting like I wouldn't sell a kidney to see the team in a position to win the Cup.
Given the timeline of everything, it appears that the Stanley Cup playoffs could last as long as early July. That is plenty of time to get everyone on the same page and have a normal summer.
Hearing the cannon again in person will be music to everyone's ears.
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