Blue Jackets Continue Idle Summer As Cap-Flush Teams Capitalize On Bad Contracts Attached To Attractive Assets

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CichlidiotBuckeye's picture

Great breakdown. I can only assume Jarmo wants to hang on to the cap space in hopes of signing an RFA to an offer sheet or making a trade for a larger contract. Otherwise, it looks like the CBJ just want to save money. 

Still a lot to be settled around the league, but the CBJ are not close to the team they were when the season ended. 

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PhillyBuckeye27's picture

Jarmo has to have something up his sleeve - doesn’t he? This can’t be the team for 2019/20 can it? 

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OWSH45's picture

The longer the summer goes on without a Jackets transaction, the less I'm looking forward to the new season.

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CBJMatt's picture

I honestly don't get the total dread. Yes, it'd be nice to add another piece, but I refuse to believe this is going to be an awful team as constructed at the moment. Any team that can put ice a defensive corps with Werenski and Jones has a pair of pieces just about every team in the league wants. Yes, guys need to step up, but isn't that part of the fun? Dubois, Anderson, Bjorkstrand, Texier, and Bemstrom are all young guys that will continue to improve. Will they be good enough this year to not miss a step from where they were? Probably not, but to assume this team is going to take a nose dive is unfair, in my opinion. 

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CichlidiotBuckeye's picture

Even if Dubois, Anderson, Bjorkstrand, Texier and Bemstrom are great this year, you still need another top 6 center and a starting goalie to emerge to do any damage in the playoffs.  

I don't think I am at total dread, just frustration watching other teams improve while the CBJ do not. 

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CBJMatt's picture

Pittsburgh got worse. The Flyers moved a lot of pieces, but are they really any better? The Islanders let a Vezina goalie walk, and didn't do anything other than resign a couple guys to big deals. The Hurricanes aren't demonstrably better either, in my opinion. The Devils improved, sure, but they still have a huge hole after Subban on defense, and who is in goal? The Rangers got better because there wasn't much else to do, and they hit the lottery. 

There may in fact be another move coming, it wouldn't shock me, but it's not like any of the pieces we're talking about here, with maybe the exception of Haula (who is coming off a major leg injury) would've done anything to improve the 2019-20 team. There aren't exactly a lot of top-6 centers out there to be had. And the Islanders and Canes made runs this year with Peter Mrazek, Curtis McElhinney, Robin Lehner, and Tomas Greiss in net. Not guaranteeing anything, but Merzlikins and Korpisalo can be a solid duo.

Jarmo hasn't hit 1.000 in Columbus, no GM does, but he's made the playoffs four times in six full seasons as a GM. Let's see where this goes. 

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OWSH45's picture

Simple question. Who, on the current roster, fills Panarin's skates?

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CBJMatt's picture

That wasn't remotely my point, or really even the question. No one is going out and signing/trading for the equivalent of Artemi Panarin. 

My point was, and has been, that Columbus is not as good on paper as last year, but still capable of competing in a division that isn't nearly as good as some make it out to be. Did anyone see the Canes or Islanders doing what they did this year? Why can't that be Columbus next year? With the guys I listed, there's no reason to just write the year off as some seem to be doing.

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PhillyBuckeye27's picture

Love your optimism - and frankly I hope you’re right and I’m wrong. However facts are we barely made the playoffs with the team we had. Without Bob and Artemi, I’m just not seeing it. And unless a rabbit emerges, I think it’s gonna be a very VERY long season - especially since pretty much every team has worked to improve themselves and we’ve worked to pretty much do zippo. 

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OWSH45's picture

Fine, name the last team to make a deep playoff run with a European goalie who has yet to play a single second on North American ice. And with, arguably, the weakest #2C in the league.

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CBJMatt's picture

Not a European goalie, but the Blues just won the dang Cup behind a who just turned 26 and before January had played a single game in the NHL. I get the difference in Europe vs. the North American rink, but it's not like they're throwing someone with no experience back there.

My point remains Jarmo Kekalainen has earned the benefit of the doubt to know what he's doing, and know what he has in his young players. Maybe it all falls apart and we're talking lottery chances in December. With the strength on the blue line, and behind the bench, I highly doubt it.

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Q's picture

Yeah this is going to be a very interesting season that frankly could go either way, but I am more optimistic on the positive side. We will miss Panarin for sure, but what many folks don’t remember is that Bob was inconsistent and mediocre from October right up until the March 24 game in Vancouver. And as far as “barely made the playoffs," keep in mind how tight the playoff race was this past season. With only 3 additional points the CBJ would have jumped three teams in the standings. I also wonder how much the locker room drama Bob created detracted from the team’s performance throughout last season.

It may be a challenge to make the playoffs with the current team, but I still believe it will be a tight race that will keep fans attention up until the very end. There is also a very good chance for all the reasons CBJMatt pointed out the other teams in the Metro conference will under perform or the young talent on the CBJ will exceed expectations. Nyquist will be a good addition and although I am disappointed we didn’t add another top six forward in July, I still think GM Jarmo will add scoring talent prior to opening night.

Q

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bluejacketsfanwpsl's picture

Does anybody remember 2009?  Hitch took us to the playoffs with Mason in goal most of the time.  We played some stellar defense as I recall, reduced shots against and pushed a lot of them to the outside.

I wonder who our 2C was....

Granted, it's been a boring off season.  But come October, September even, there's going to be NHL hockey in NWA.  I'll be there to see it.

it could be argued that the drama of 9 & 72 being UFAs helped the team.  But I doubt it.  It's possible that with that cloud lifted these guys will come together and play as a team.

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