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The rantiest rant of all rants.

Monday, July 10, 2006
So Monday is my free day. Let's see what I have missed out on talking about all last week before I go for a run and then grab a bite at McFatty's, shall we? First, what I mentioned in the last two entries:

Ty Conklin (and Tomas Kloucek) signed by the Blue Jackets

Seriously, Doug ... why Ty? Listen, I understand that maybe you're hesitant to have Pascal as the starting goalie, and a goalie who has never played in the NHL as his probably backup. It's a legitimate concern, considering the fact that Leclaire may very well be somewhat prone to injury, and Fredrik Norrena -- despite his accolades across the pond -- hasn't a single game of NHL experience. But Ty just does not seem like the answer.

I admit, he's getting a pretty nasty rap for his flub in the Stanley Cup Finals alone, but his regular season numbers are something that you do not want to see in even a backup goalie. Obviously we have little to worry about since the deal is a two-way contract, but I just can't understand it.

Beyond the signing of Conklin, there is also Tomas Kloucek who got signed to a similar two-way contract around the same time last week. I've never seen Kloucek play once, and so all I can really go on are his numbers ... and they aren't pretty. When TSN calls him a "Defensive Defenseman", they really mean it, since his point output is 0.07 points per game (10 points in 141 games).

Look, obviously defense is nice, but the Blue Jackets need offense. Look at our stats last year! We were ranked 28th in goals, man ... 28th! 29th in Power Play, and 29th in shots.

Sigh. I need a drink ... soda, not beer. Anyway, moving on.

Carolina Hurricanes sign Letowski 'away' from the Jackets

I wouldn't really give this much notice, except that Spector chided the Jackets for not "sparing" an additional $800K to their current payroll to keep Trevor in the mix here in Columbus. That being said, I think the best way to counter the criticism of the Jackets not signing Letowski again was best summed up in this comment by Canuck's blogger and fellow LJ Hockey member Jes Golbez over at The Acid Queen's blog:

"D00d, don’t expect much from Letowski. I found him to be rather disappointing defensively (he wasn’t that good). He’s got speed, but he doesn’t always hustle like he should. If he’s not playing at 100% effort at all times, then he isn’t doing his job. Basically, he’s a 4th line center that can fill the role of warm body #12."

In other words, the Jackets don't need him. Gilbert Brule and Alexandre Picard are already all but locked in to move up to Columbus from their respective junior/minor league teams this coming season, and we were already keeping much of last year's forward core as it is. With Modin also coming in, Letowski was no longer needed. Not on the third line, fourth line, or any line.

Chimera opts for arbitration

I'm glad Jason is staying. He's like a quicker, scoring, and somewhat smaller version of our own Jody Shelley. And when I say quicker, I really mean quicker. Anyone who has watched a Blue Jackets game knows that at one point in almost every game, Chimera will suddenly come blazing out of nowhere like a greased pig with the puck. The only problem is that he has this kamikazee-style of doing it, which ends up leading to either poor man breakaways or breakaways just not producing because of the lack of thought put in to them. Nonetheless, he's a great guy. Everything I've seen about him shows that he's just always eager to play, and definitely one of those motivation guys you like to have around. Here's hoping it just doesn't cost us an arm and a leg after arbitration to keep him, eh?

Anyway, something to point out. My main concern right now is that almost every player Doug has been signing ... has been someone who has either not played in the NHL (Norenna), not played in the NHL a lot (Kloucek), or not played in the NHL in a while (Eriksson). Frankly, I don't want to see MacLean going out and getting some huge, big name guy ... honestly, that isn't our concern. We have Berard and Foote manning our top defensive line, and our top two forward lines are brimming with young talent mixed with veteran experience.

But MacLean needs to go about doing a better job of signing the guys who make things work in the background. None of this signing traumatized goalies or guys who were supposed to blossom into amazing players but then fell flat. This upcoming season will be the sixth, and as pundits are quick to point out, the 'new NHL team' line is starting to lose out to the march of time, and the inevitable fact that the Jackets need a playoff berth to earn respect, let alone keep the people of Columbus interested in something beside the Buckeyes.
  • At 3:42 AM, Blogger Scrubs & Shines said…

    Ty will not disappoint, Other than that mistake in the Carolina series, Oiler Fans like me tend to focus on Ty's success here in Edmonton. He was ice cold as was Jussi when we lost Roli, You cant blame Ty without first looking at the way the rest of the Oilers played that dreadful game. It was a team effort that afforded a team loss, Ty is a great talent and will be missed

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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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