Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pause and reflect

The Columbus Blue Jackets made their latest (and last, barring the miraculous return from injury of any of a host of players, an unexpected trade or some other odd occurrence) round of training camp cuts on Saturday, which more or less firms up their roster for opening night.

The Columbus Blue Jackets badly needed an overhaul after limping to
the finish line over the past two seasons.  Did it finally happen?
Back in April, at the conclusion of what can charitably be called a disappointing 2010-11 season, I said with a very straight face:
It's time to blow this roster up. 
I'm sick of moral victories. Enough of the ribbons for effort. Everyone is not necessarily a winner. I want to see our forwards put pucks in the backs of nets. I want to see defensemen who make it hard for the opposing forwards to get shots off. I want to see goalies whose dominance demoralizes the other team. 
By blowing the roster up, I mean that I will be disappointed if no fewer than seven new, quality roster contributors are on the 2011-2012 CBJ roster. (Side note: This is something I wrote a while back and thought it was outlandish...but then Marc Methot, in a postgame interview in the last week of the season, suggested 6-8 players would be gone. Hmmm...) I'd really like to see half the team turn over but don't believe such an ambitious rebuild would be possible given contractual and salary cap considerations in Columbus and around the league.
Now, take a look at what's happened on Nationwide Boulevard between this past offseason and training camp...

SIX new forwards.

FOUR new defensemen.

ONE new goaltender.

Folks, they did it.  They blew the roster up.  

Perhaps the Columbus Blue Jackets will now make it to the playoffs once again.

Deeper thoughts to come, but - for now - just take a moment and share my awe at what's happened over the past six months.

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