Friday, April 27, 2012

Glass Bangers, 4/27/12


Don't overlook your loved ones in the heat of the
Stanley Cup Playoffs, folks!
I was a touch surprised to learn that the National Hockey League was starting up the second round of the playoffs less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the opening round.  No breathers for the weary who have made it through countless overtime games (exciting games, granted), I suppose.

But for those of us whose spouses aren't hockey junkies, this presents a challenge.  I was hoping to get a one-night reprieve so my hockey widow, Mrs. DBJ, and I could sneak in a date night before the second round started up.  No dice.  So I suppose I'm going to miss the opening game of Phoenix-Nashville (perhaps the best matchup of the second round, in my opinion) in favor of dinner and a movie.

By the way, you may wish to make a note that the second round schedule has a hole on the evening of May 5th...the day when they're running the Kentucky Derby on NBC.  If you're looking for a safe date night, that's your best bet.  (H/T to Howye for the heads up!)

Cannon fire and fireworks accompanied
the curtain drop as the logo was unveiled.
  • For an event consisting of a few obligatory comments and a curtain drop, it was a nice event.  The Dark Blue Toddler wishes the CBJ bounce house had made an appearance, but the slap shot simulator game him something to do with another young''un.
  • The "FREE LUNCH" (it was all caps in the CBJ's email invite to ticket package holders) of hot dog, chips and can of soda was appreciated.
  • The free All-Star Game logo puck (again, to ticket package holders) was a nice touch.
  • Turnout was decent...not overwhelming, but decent for a sunny Friday lunch hour.  From the very conspicuous vouchers, I'd guess that two-thirds to three-quarters of the attendees got the FREE LUNCH email.
  • The suits did a fine job recognizing that the event, while obviously great for Columbus from a prestige point of view and perhaps even economically, was great for those reasons.  Which has nothing to do with the quality of the home team's performance on a night-in, night-out basis.  I'm really happy for Columbus and might even try to get a ticket to an All-Star Weekend event (presuming that the cost isn't out of this world), but I also recognize that all the pomp and circumstance today didn't do anything toward improving the team with, by far, the worst record in the NHL.
  • From my vantage point, the biggest applause from the back of the audience (where I was) came when John P. McConnell said that he's committed to bringing not just the All-Star Game but playoff games and Stanley Cup Finals games to Columbus.  I honestly believe his intentions are pure.  As such, I'm guessing that the state of the team is driving him batty.  
  • Not to make more of it than I have to, but just an observation: The last time I was out in the cold on the arena district plaza, there were a few hundred people rallying for the Blue Jackets to fix their hockey team.  Fast forward to now, where Commissioner Bettman and CBJ majority owner John McConnell were front and center.  Just an odd juxtaposition.  But you'd have to have been to both to understand...and, from what I observed, there were precious few who attended both events.


My complimentary All-Star Game puck from the Columbus Blue Jackets
I like it.  It doesn't surprise me, but I like it.

To elaborate a little further, I figured the logo could go in a limited number of directions:

1. Something in line with the current "star/flag" logo, which has a very modern look.
2. Something in line with the current CBJ third jersey logo, which has a somewhat rustic/Civil War period feel.
3. Something that emphasized a unique landmark in Columbus, a la the Winter Classic logos or Ottawa's 2012 All-Star Game logo.

They went with door number one.  Not at all offensive.  Very safe.  Very recognizable vis a vis Columbus and the Blue Jackets.  A nice use of the Ohio flag - again.  As I said, I like it.  No objections.

In fact, permit me to point out the element that I like most about the logo: The "Columbus - 2013" font.  It's somewhat unique against what the team has used in past graphics, and I find it to have a progressive - dare I say forward-looking? - feel to it.  And considering that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman is pounding away at the need for Columbus-ites to develop a little swagger about their town, I think it's perfect.  I've noticed a feeling in both the hockey world and in Columbus to get tied up in nostalgia at the expense of embracing a bright future...and this look does not look backward in the least.

That's not to say that doors number two or three couldn't have worked.  The third jersey look would have been the embodiment of a nostalgic look, and I'm not sure that those south of the Mason-Dixon line or above the 45th parallel would get all weepy over an overt American Civil War theme.  A Columbus landmark like our unique statehouse would have been fun to toy with as well, but hey...I'm cool with what I see.


Columbus Business First reported that, as expected, Nationwide Arena is getting a fancy new ($5.5 million!) scoreboard and other related lighting/computer upgrades.  Everything will be in place in time for the All-Star Game.  Cool.


Apparently, "Gotta See It Live" is getting the ziggy.  Good.  It always reeked of desperation marketing to me, speaking more to the team's obvious desire to increase gate revenue than anything related to the team itself.

Let's hope that the next marketing campaign does something to energize the community and fanbase again.  Marketing and business operations can't carry all the weight when the hockey operations team repeatedly comes up short, but they can contribute to building a positive vibe.


Marc Methot has returned from injury to join Team Canada's
blue line at the 2012 IIHF World Championships
It isn't the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the IIHF World Championships make for a lovely consolation prize.  And wouldn't you know, the Blue Jackets have a few players participating:
  • Marc Methot - Team Canada
  • Cam Atkinson - Team USA
  • Jack Johnson - Team USA
  • Nikita Nikitin - Team Russia
As for former Blue Jackets, here's what I found (hope I didn't miss any...I'm still a touch thin on those who were around before the Hitchcock Era):
  • Jiri Notovony - Team Czech Republic
  • Alexander Svitov - Team Russia
I think a CBJ prospect is playing for Team Italy, but his name escapes me.  The link above doesn't list Team Italy's roster, either.  
Regardless, I wish all the Blue Jackets well and hope they enjoy tournament hockey to its fullest extent.


From November, Mark Dekanich (I think) looks for the rebound in a close-quarters shooting drill.


  1. Tomas Larkin is the gent on Team Italy, thanks to his joint citizenship. :)


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