Guide To Rooting For Former Blue Jackets In The Stanley Cup Playoffs, Part 1

By Dan Greene on May 5, 2022 at 2:15 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and left winger Nick Foligno celebrate as they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports
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With the progression that has been made this season, as well as how young many of their key players are, it would be well within the realm of possibilities for the Blue Jackets to improve enough to earn a playoff birth in 2023. However, with that said, Columbus is still on the outside looking in for the current Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While the Blue Jackets will not be making an appearance this postseason, plenty of former Blue Jackets players can be found among the field of teams still in the hunt for the 2022 Stanley Cup. If your team is not in the playoffs, it can sometimes be difficult to find reasons to keep your interest piqued, no to mention trying to figure out who to root for. One possible way to do this would be to follow the players that once made Columbus their home.

We will look at a few of the most notable players in order to aid in how one might decide who they will be rooting for, if so inclined. There may be potential roadblocks such as a former Blue Jacket favorite currently playing for a team you cannot stomach cheering for. However, you may find just the reason you are looking for to closely follow postseason play this year.

Most Notable Former Blue Jackets In The 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs​

  • Sergei Bobrovsky

​Bobrovsky is one of the longest-tenured and arguably the most successful former Blue Jacket playing in this postseason. He may have left a sour taste in the mouths of some members of the 5th line, due to him signing with the Florida Panthers over re-upping with Columbus in the 2019 offseason. But the success he had in net is undeniable. 

He not only helped lead the Blue Jackets to their first ever playoff series win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019, but he enjoyed several individual accolades as well, including two Vezina Trophies, given to the goaltender voted best in the NHL that season. The first of which came in his inaugural season with the club in 2012-13 when he posted stellar numbers of .932 SV% and 2.00 GAA. He was awarded his second Vezina when he posted an almost identical stat line during the 2016-17 campaign. Bobrovsky was also nominated to five all-star teams, including the last three years he was with the team.

  • Nick Foligno 

Foligno spent just less than nine seasons in Columbus, nearly six of which he wore the "C" for his team. He was acquired the same offseason that Rick Nash was traded away, and after a couple of years, the Buffalo, New York native took over the captaincy that had been vacant since Nash left. Overall, he played 599 games and had a stat line of 142-192-344 for the Blue Jackets.

He was originally brought in to help relieve some of the scoring void after Nash's departure, and he was able to find the net with frequency in his early years with the Jackets. Twice tallying more than 25 goals in a season, including his 2014-15 campaign where he finished with a career-high 73 points.

As he aged his scoring slowed down, but his toughness and leadership grew. He is one of the most beloved skaters in Blue Jackets History.

  • Artemi Panarin 

​Panarin's time was much shorter-lived than the other two on this list, but it was very memorable nonetheless. Panarin may also not be as beloved as Foligno due to spurning Columbus' attempts to resign him in the 2019 offseason, but the two years that the Russian left-winger played this team, were full of highlights and franchise records.

Panarin has the franchise records for the first and third most assists in a season. In each of his two years spent in Columbus, he also scored more points per season than anyone else in club history. There are several other Blue Jackets' all-time season leaders lists that you will find his name at the top of as well. But perhaps one of the greatest things he did for this club was when he lead them with five points in four games as they swept the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Whether you cheer on some of the former Blue Jackets or the teams they play for, or even if you choose not to root for anyone that no longer wears the Jackets' Jersey, there are quite a few players in this year's playoffs that have a quite an impact on this franchise.

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