The career of a player can be measured in plenty of ways but for a franchise like the Columbus Blue Jackets, your play and effort can get you fans the same way scoring a goal can.
Former forward Mark Letestu, in particular, seemed to resonate with Columbus fans just by how he played for the team. Many players have dawned the Union Blue before, but his workmanlike mentality was a breath of fresh air for many.
Letestu announced his retirement after 12 NHL seasons. He played part of six seasons for Columbus, part of three seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, part of three seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, and one season with the Winnipeg Jets.
In his time with the Blue Jackets, Letestu played in 255 games scoring 44 goals and 58 assists for a total of 102 points. Letestu ended his career playing 567 games scoring 93 goals with 107 assists for a total of 210 points.
He was never someone to lead the team in flashy categories like goals and assists. In fact, his style was to fit in where he could and make a mark in any way he could. That not only made him a fan favorite but a player that coaches loved to have on their team.
"He (Letestu) was a good guy to have on your team," said former Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards to The Athletic. "Because depending on how your team was playing, what injuries you had or whatever, you could put him in different spots and not lose a beat with how you wanted to play."
That meant at times playing on the wing, center, and even on defense at times when on the power play. Not to mention he was a staple on the penalty kill for many seasons as well.
Letestu would also find success outside of Columbus by playing for his hometown Edmonton Oilers and getting a career-high in points at the age of 31 during the 2016-17 campaign. Before his time with the Blue Jackets, he also played for a Penguins team that has Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, despite their superstar pedigree, Letestu managed to keep up with them.
Letestu was a player that exemplified the hard-working, "brick by brick" mentality that was the mantra for the team when he joined the club. Although he may have only been one of the bricks, he will be fondly remembered by his neighbors in Central Ohio.
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