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Blue Jackets Links

Missing the bus, among other things.

Friday, September 15, 2006
So I went to sleep early last night with hopes of getting up early enough to miss the rush hour on the public transportation buses (COTA), and get to Nationwide Arena to see the start of training camp. The only time I've ever even been to a training camp was when I was 17 and living back in New Jersey, when I went to South Mountain Arena to see the Devils.

(Incidentally, one of the drills that really stood out to me at that camp was where the players put their sticks on the ice, and then had to jump over it, back and forth. Definitely something I couldn't do nowadays.)

In any case, not only did I not wake up early enough to avoid the hustle and bustle of people getting to work, but I also realized that I had way too much on my plate in terms of classwork due today. So alas, I was training camp-less!

But as always, The Columbus Dispatch was on the scene, with coverage concerning team opinion on the acquisition of Anson Carter, as well as the team doing their best to move on without Zherdev. Carter was not at the first training camp of the season, as he had to attend a funeral elsewhere. Even though the presumption is he'll return either Saturday or Sunday, I'm guessing if he did return Saturday it would not be in time for the second day of training camp.

Meanwhile, our veteran of a rookie -- Fredrik Norrena -- was out on the ice and as expected was doing his best to show that he was the man to be Pascal Leclaire's backup this season. While there are definitely reservations about the fact that he has never played in the NHL and yet is 32 years old, I think the consensus is that he's going to win the backup role over Ty Conklin.

Closing up, I wanted to get back to Drew from EotB and the couple o' questions he tossed out yesterday in comments:
Here's the million dollar question: With the addition of Carter probably finishing up the roster moves for the pre-season (with the outside possibility of a Zherdev miracle), do you see this team as having a shot at the post-season? On the flip side of that, do you think they would have had a chance with Zherdev?
Well, I already know your answer to that question after seeing your seeding predictions this season, don't I? :D Okay, but seriously. Do I think the Blue Jackets have a shot with Carter? I'm going to go against the odds and say that, yes, the Jackets do actually have a chance. In fact, I'm going to say that they probably have a better chance with Carter than Zherdev.

Zherdev's the sexy pick because he's young, he's explosive, and he has many years ahead of him to grow and become a superstar, obviously. But in the past couple weeks I've been putting this into perspective, and I realized that even with last year's 53-point season, I still am bothered by Zherdev's inability to try and be a "team player" (I know, that phrase is so played out). Though it's been mentioned by pundits ad nauseum, Zherdev has yet to make any sort of strides towards learning to be valuable when having to play defense. He still has issues with sharing the puck with others. He hasn't taken strides towards becoming a better communicator with other team members and the coaches, as can be noted by his lethargic attitude towards learning more English. If we had Zherdev now, and Carter was elsewhere, I would have to say the Jackets would finish out of the playoffs, on the grounds that he is still too one-dimensional. Worse, he's more than likely going to stay one-dimensional because he'll be playing in Russia this season, where he won't be challenged in any way, shape, or form.

Do I hope some sort of miracle contract is worked out before the start of the season? Of course I do! But I'm not holding out hope, and I'm ready to put my faith in Carter, even if the opinions on him vary from "leftover premiere free-agent scraps" to "solid, two-way veteran."
1 Comments:
  • At 9:28 AM, Blogger Drew said…

    "I'm ready to put my faith in Carter, even if the opinions on him vary from 'leftover premiere free-agent scraps' to 'solid, two-way veteran'."

    How much do you want to bet his description would be viewed slightly more positively if he had been signed by Detroit? I think that if he had been signed by a perennial contender, he'd be the final piece of the puzzle. But because he's now donning the CBJ crest, he made a huge mistake and now he's stuck in "hockey purgatory" for a year.

    God, I love being a bitter Blue Jackets fan!!!

     
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