It's that time of year, where many people, teams, and organizations reflect on the year that was and look forward to the future.
Here are three New Year's resolutions that the Columbus Blue Jackets should aspire to in 2022:
Resolution #1: Hold A Lead
The Blue Jackets got out to a 4-0 lead on Saturday before spotting the Carolina Hurricanes a touchdown in a 7-4. Per The Athletic's Aaron Portzline, "the last time an NHL team led by four goals and lost was Nov. 23, 2019, when Montreal led 4-0 against the New York Rangers and lost 6-5 in regulation."
The Blue Jackets are young, inexperienced, etc. But let's be blunt. It's professional hockey. At a certain point, the excuses get tired. In 2022, this team will look to prioritize limiting these lapses in play.
Resolution #2: Add Another Top Prospect (Or Two!)
The Blue Jackets have done an exceptional job adding young talent to the organization. Yegor Chinakhov, Cole Sillinger, Kent Johnson, and Kirill Marchenko are all high-end forward prospects who will be looked upon to bring success to the organization. Meanwhile, Stanislav Svozil and Corson Ceulemans appear to have bright futures on the back end, to say nothing of the already extremely young and promising defense corps playing on the current roster. The organization will most likely add two more first-round picks this summer and depending on how the rest of the season turns out for them and the Chicago Blackhawks, those could be two more lottery picks.
Even if the rest of the regular season ends with a dud, there's a nice consolation prize at the end of the road. And based on recent drafting, that's good news.
Resolution #3: Be Consistent With Asset Management
The Blue Jackets have some major personnel questions to answer at or before this upcoming offseason. Max Domi and Joonas Korpisalo are the two headlining UFAs, but other depth players, like Gregory Hofmann, Scott Harrington, Dean Kukan, and Justin Danforth are also on expiring contracts. If the Blue Jackets are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, they should absolutely be willing to move on from the latter four, as well as Korpisalo. What might they do with Domi?
It's not just the UFAs that need to be addressed; Patrik Laine, Jack Roslovic, and Adam Boqvist are all pending RFAs that will require new contracts. Those are major decisions, even if all remain under team control for the foreseeable future. While none of these (or the above) decisions are easy, GM Jarmo Kekalainen is in a somewhat enviable position. The individual player's - and more to the point - the team's play, should dictate how he proceeds.