It's still a much bigger market than it was 20 years ago and is showing no signs of slowing down, growth wise, though you do make some good points. There's still a lot of growth to be had to be had as far as ratings go, but I think the good news is winning can really make that happen.
Now this is a good question.
It does appear things are moving more smoothly for him since the trade. I don't know enough about the Q to know if Cape Breton has a worse roster this year or what happened there, but if you're gonna be the No. 3 overall pick, you gotta put up some numbers in juniors, and he's been much closer to that level since the deal.
I'm horrible at comps but it seems like he's gonna be a very good all-around guy who can play well in both zones.
He was splitting his time between his home in Prince Edward Island in the offseason and Columbus during the season. He decided to spent more time with family and stay in PEI all year, and he got the job calling the Q team's games up there in Charlottetown.
He is missed, not only for his phenomenal job on the broadcasts but for being perhaps the nicest guy in the world.
Hahahaha, yeah I'll take the blame on that one. Was moving a bit too fast there.
You give pretty much any team in the NHL Werenski, Jones, Murray, Carlsson and Nutivaara defensively going forward and I think they'd take that and run. And that's even before Johnson and Savard are included. I think the defense will be the engine of this team going forward, and you can't help but like it.
I will fight anyone who suggests losing Calvert is a viable plan, LOL. I mean, I get it. He does have limited value. But you also saw the spark he gave the team the last two games. It's good to have a guy like that around, but will there be a spot?
I've seen a few people say this feels like it "should" be the start of something but you hear what has happened in previous years after a playoff appearance. And you're right. If the franchise doesn't build on this season next year with at least a playoff appearance, it'll just be gutting for the organization. The time is now.
I think Boston qualifies, and maybe the Kings in 2014. Kopitar is legit but after that the only guy to get 50 points was Jeff Carter, who finished right at 50. Doughty is a borderline star too but those were teams that didn't overwhelm you with offensive guys but instead played just a heavy, heavy game (and then Kopitar, Carter and Justin Williams became unreal in the postseason). I think those recent Boston champs fall under playing really, really heavy, too. But it's hard to do that, obviously.
This is a good plan, lol.
It's too early for me to wrap my mind around all that needs done, though to be fair, they're in a really good spot with most of the roster. I don't see Gagner coming back, frankly, and you make a good point about Hartsy. You knew when you acquired him that at some point, he wasn't going to be worth the money, though obviously he was much better than Umby for the last three years. But his play really fell off a cliff the last three months.
I expect them to get things like Wennberg done. The expansion draft will be very interesting, but the good news is the franchise appears to have the depth now to be able to weather something like that. Anderson played his way into the discussion of having to be protected, but we shall see.
Jackets have played with them enough in the series that sure, they can win. They're not getting as blown out of the water as you'd think based on a 3-0 deficit, now 3-1. My two biggest concerns are a) Bob. He needs to still be better, and b) Losing Werenski. Ewing Theory aside, he's just so good on both sides of the ice. Can they win four games in a row without their best D? It's just so tough. Of course, you don't have to win four games in a row, you just have to win one game four times.
Love the optimism though!
Get paired with Zach Werenski. HEY-O!
There's a lot of reasons to be excited going forward when you see just how many young, talented players there are who should only get better. Bjorkstrand is just scratching the surface of what he can do. It looks like Carlsson will be a defensive mainstay starting next year. Werenski is gonna be a bona fide star. You can just keep going with the guys who are 22, 23, or even younger who can get better. The future does appear to be very bright.
If I'm looking at one negative, it's that lack of a signature guy, as some have posted. Chicago has Kane and Toews. Pitt has Sidney and Gino (and to a certain extent, Kessel). Washington has Ovi. Toronto's gonna have Matthews, Edmonton McDavid. You don't HAVE to have those guys to win it all, but the data is there that if you're gonna be a year-in, year-out Cup contender, it helps, obviously. And it's not like the Jackets are likely to sign or draft that kind of guy in the near future, it looks like. So that's one thing that I don't want to say concerns me, but it's something to be aware of. Cam is a 30-goal guy now. Werenski could be a star but it's a little different for D-men (although they do play more minutes, but it's just hard to score like those guys I mentioned above). It's an interesting discussion.
It's a shots for/shots against chart. Being up in the top right hand corner where Nuti was means there were a lot of shots for the CBJ there and not many shots against. That's where you want to be. Hence, good. Dull means not many shots for or against. Fun means a lot for, a lot against.