|Open CBJ practices allow an entirely new generation of fans to develop.|
Letting the little kids in every now and then isn't THAT big of an imposition.
Now, every coach runs his team - and their practices - in their own way. Ken Hitchcock, and the coaches before him, apparently held most of the team's practices in the Ice Haus, the practice ice attached to Nationwide Arena. Scott Arniel, however, likes to hold his practices on the actual Nationwide main ice.
For whatever reason, the Blue Jackets closed their Nationwide main ice practices to the public during the regular season. I'm guessing that it's a staffing/security issue, seeing that opening the main ice to the public for practices essentially means exposing the entire arena to the public. You really can't let people go to watch practices without letting them wander the concourses, use the restrooms, etc. Now Arniel could have other reasons - perhaps he is installing some secret "Wild Buckeye" offense that we haven't seen yet for the Rose Bowl (oops, wrong sport). But I think it's the staffing and security issue.
|Get out to a Blue Jackets practice - not only do you see the|
team up close, but you learn a lot about pro hockey!
(Photo copyright 2010 by Matt Wagner)
Yet I JUST learned that the Columbus Blue Jackets relented to the social media feedback loop and have opened all non-gameday practices - be they at the Ice Haus or the main ice, matters not - to the public commencing on Thursday, October 21. This is an impressive gesture that fans should not take lightly. They did not have to do this. I honestly think it's more than they should have done...but who am I to look the gift horse in the mouth?
So let's take the Blue Jackets up on their generosity. CBJ fans with availability need to follow the Blue Jackets Twitter feed and stay abreast of days when practice is open...and then go out and see them! It's a lot of fun, and I've learned a great deal about the game simply by watching the team go through drills. Not to mention seen some really great guys share the hockey love with the little kids!