Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The bubble bursts

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced 10 more cuts from their training camp roster today.

Cody Goloubef is off to Springfield to build on what he
learned during training camp in Columbus
That Matt Calvert, Chad Kolarik, Steven Delisle, Cody Goloubef, Brent Regner, Theo Ruth, Daren Machesney, Trevor Frischmon, Jonathan Sigalet and Oliver Gabriel were all sent on their various professional paths is not necessarily upsetting or - crassly - meaningful at this point to CBJ fans. Head Coach Scott Arniel left the door open for all them for a long time, longer than most teams, before making these decisions in the hopes that the players would have ample opportunity to show that they deserved a slot on the NHL team roster more than the next guy in the overcrowded locker room.

Attending just one training camp practice, though, puts a different spin on the cuts, though. More than anything I learned while watching the players go through their drills was the pressure that many of these guys were under as they tried so very hard to do what it took to stay around for another day. Honest to God, you could see the strain on the faces of the bubble players. On a human level, it was heartbreaking as even I could sort through some of the more simple cuts over the course of that morning. The players most likely knew it, too, but it was their job - their dream, in most cases - that they were fighting for. How painful.

On the bright side, it appears that most of these players got a big heaping dose of the Arniel system and will be applying what they learned in Springfield this season. It's not like they have been kicked to the curb and won't be heard from in the CBJ system again. These are young guys (Frischmon is the only player older than 24), meaning that these guys all have time (some more than others) to get their games in gear. If they use what they've learned wisely, work on their games and keep their minds right, these guys can either put themselves in position to be an early call-up to the big club this year or make a run at a roster spot in the next training camp. Or, if it just doesn't work out in Columbus, there's always the chance that a strong showing in the minors will get them a chance somewhere else.

Steven Delisle will play on
the Springfield blue line in 10-11
So today is a strangely sad day to me. I was rooting for these guys - not to take the place of players more deserving, but to make their own "step up" and emerge as NHL-ready. We all love the classic underdog story, and there were plenty of underdogs among these 10 young men.

Now, the pressure is on Tomas Kubalik, Kyle Wilson, Ben Guite, Tomas Kana, Max Mayorov, Nate Guenin, Nick Holden, John Moore and David Savard. (Proportionately, many more defenders still in the mix than forwards. Perhaps Arniel is looking at the same numbers that I am...) I'm sticking to my prediction of 2-4 new Columbus Blue Jackets roster spots coming from these nine guys. Which players will stick? Who will they push aside? Time will tell, and it'll be fun (albeit sad at times) to see it all play out.

1 comment:

  1. No one on this list really surprised me. I think the next cut is going to have some heads around town spinning. I'm sure that whatever he does, the boys at the Dispatch will be up in arms about it.


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