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Blue Jackets Links

The old, the new, and the schedule.

Saturday, July 15, 2006
This week turned out to be much more of an adventure than I expected it to be. I never realized just reading Algebra could give someone a frontal labotomy.

Anyway, now that I have some free time and have escaped the grasp of Polynomials, Fraction Division, and other evils of the Math world, let's see what I missed this week.

The return of the King: Ron Tugnutt wants to be the CBJ's Goalie Coach

Okay, so I'm exaggerating on the king part. In fact, it's kind of hard for me to speak of Tugnutt due to the fact that he came and went from the Jackets before I began to follow them. But despite my own lack of experience with the guy as a Jacket, I do know that he was the Jackets very first starting goalie, and as such had been loved and enjoyed by Jackets fans. With a .917 Sv.% in his first of two years with the Jackets, I'd say that looking back he was a great guy to grab back then.

But would Tugnutt make a good goalie coach? Good question, actually. The Jackets are in need of a new goalie coach now that Rick Wamsley is gone to the division rival Blues. Tugnutt spent the last season working the commentator booth over with the Senators and CBC, so he's two years removed from playing in the NHL. That could be looked at as a good thing, however, since it means he's had time to step back and get a better view of the game from a bird's eye view, while still able to draw from his own experience as a moderately stable goaltender throughout his NHL years.

Season schedule released! Now with 100% less Southeast Division!

There goes any shot of seeing the Big O -- Alex Ovechkin -- skating his way into Columbus during the 2006-07 season, eh? Instead the Jackets will be rolling out the red carpet for the Northeast, while packing their bags and heading for the Atlantic. Thanks to the meet-up with the Northeast, the Jackets will get a little taste of the Original Six. Beyond that, I may try and set up a little roadtrip slightly east if I have the time to catch the Jackets in Pittsburgh. I was hoping that maybe their away game against the Devils would take place in late December to early January when I am home for the holidays in North Jersey, but alas, it's in late October.

FSN Ohio will cover 77 out of 82 games as is part of their network deal with the Jackets, but of course since the schedule is less than a week old, you won't be seeing any TV schedule anytime soon. At least not for another month, I'd assume.

Wright thinks coming back to Columbus is 'right'?

Aaron Portzline of The Dispatch picked this story up. It looks like Tyler Wright's long, 12-year career is in jeopardy of ending. Or at least taking a year off from the NHL. With the exception of one possible offer from the Preds, Wright says that little has come his way. At the same time, he mentions that he's always loved Columbus, as has his family and that he'd like to come back. But at the same time he isn't going to go buying into a two-way deal, much like Conklin did with the Jackets last week.

While it would be nice to have an original Jacket back, Wright himself admits that the Jackets are moving in a direction which seems to conflict with his ever returning to the franchise. It's good that he realizes this, too. Beyond his numbers dropping in the production department, his play time was always dropping like a boulder off a cliff. In all, he played 43 games last season between Anaheim and Columbus.

Maybe if no one else picks him up, he might reconsider the offer that the Jackets made for him as a member of the CBJ radio/TV analyst crew. But now that Danny Gare is the new color commentator, that may not be possible.

For a wrap up, Drew over at End of the Bench makes mention of the other coach shufflings beyond Tugnutt's ambitions, and shows defiance against what he views as a blogosphere-wide opinion that the Jackets are sitting on their hands when it comes to free agents and other dealings. I can't say I blame him, either. But at the same time I can't deny that I'm also a little wary of the lack of deals made by the Jackets, either. So I'll just ride the fence on this one.

And now I'm going to go and get some lunch. Maybe I'll go hit up Damon's Grill or something.
  • At 4:05 PM, Blogger Skraut said…

    I really like the idea of Ron Tugnutt as a goalie coach simply because of the goalies the Jackets have. Positional coaches seem to fall into 2 categories, "Professional" coaches who are great for finding and molding talent, and former players who are great for passing their experience and knowledge on to those they are coaching.

    I think currently the Jackets are more in need of the second type.

    Leclaire is for the most part fundmentally sound, but (assuming that's what's going to happen) is going to be new to the starting role, and facing a ton of shots night after night (something Tugnutt faced in his season with the Jackets)

    Norrena is a seasoned vet, just not of the NHL. Again he probably needs little in the way tweaking or changing his style, he's going to need more in the way of guidance about life in the NHL.

    And finally you have Ty Conklin, a respectable career backup who had one (very) bad day. Again, here's someone who needs somebody to say "I've been there, here's how I handled it" as opposed to another coach firing an endless stream of pucks at him.

    Yes, the Jackets have other prospects in the minors (or recently drafted) who would benefit from a more "professional" style coach. But I think a coach like Tugnutt could be a better influence NOW. Thinking of the future is great, but at some time, the Jackets need to realize they aren't an expansion team anymore.

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Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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