Saturday, May 25, 2013

Glass Bangers - Memorial Weekend Edition

This is for @osujoe, the notorious (not famous)
Brassacek Jersey
Yesterday was an interesting start to the Memorial Day weekend in  Blue Jackets land.  So I thought I would summarize some of it, and muse on it a bit.

First and foremost, the CBJ announced that goal tender Curtis McElhinney was signed to a 1 year, one way deal.  CMac had a great year this year leading Springfield to the second round of the AHL playoffs.  He posted a 29-6-3 record, with a 2.29 GAA and a .923 Save Percentage.  These are very good numbers, that eclipse the relatively pedestrian numbers he has posted in prior service in the NHL.  CMac will be coming in to compete for the backup goalie spot behind Bobrovsky.

CMac came to the organization as an injured goal tender as part of the 2011-12 late season purge that sent Antoine Vermette to the Phoenix Coyotes.  At the time he was recovering from major surgery.  The CBJ signed him to a two-way deal last year, and he spent the entire year in Springfield.  Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch is quoting Jarmo Kekalainen as saying that CMac earned the contract with his play in Springfield, and the one way deal was pretty much what was necessary to keep him in the organization. At 30 years old, this is probably CMac's last real chance at the NHL.  We need a back up goal tender who is committed to performing, and will win us some games while relieving Bobrovsky.

On the 'let the wookie win' front, the CBJ signed Finnish defenseman Ilari Melart to a one year entry level deal.  He is a 24 year old, 6'3", 227 lb stay at home defenseman, who has some thump to his game.  This ensures that Dalton Prout has some competition coming into camp.  This should prove interesting.  While I can't recall the source at this moment (apologies to that source) when following this on Twitter yesterday, Jarmo basically implied that people will have a hard time getting away from him on the smaller North American ice surfaces.  Not to say that he is merely a goon, but he is a large, physical defenseman.  I think this adds some real depth to the CBJ defensive corps in an area that we are not deep.  This is a good signing by Jarmo, capitalizing on his knowledge of European players.
Anton Forsberg in 2012 Development Camp

In another development, the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the CBJ signed goal tender prospect Anton Forsberg to a 3 year entry level deal.  Forsberg will likely play in Sweden this year, where he has a chance to compete for a starting job with Modo in the Swedish Elite league.  Forsberg is probably furthest along of all the bright goal tending prospects in the system, and its possible he'll make the jump to North America for the 2014-15 season.

Bobrovsky is still not signed, but Bob's agent would be a stone cold lunatic for signing a deal before finding out whether Bob had won the Vezina trophy for best goal tender of the year.  So that won't happen at least until after the second game of the final, which is when the Vezina award will be announced.  Patience it the watchword here.  Keep calm, and vote for Bob in the EA Sports NHL14 cover vote.  So far he is in the semi finals.

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day everyone!  Take a moment to reflect on those who have fallen to keep our Country free.

GO JACKETS!




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