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Tuesday, June 19, 2007
So here I am, all settled in after a long but gratifying weekend where my mom stopped on over for a visit (and in the process reminded me that I need to do a better job keeping my apartment tidy ... pfft, mothers), and I was about to get to work on making some dinner and getting to my evening exercising before preparing for the next two, long, work-filled days before the NHL Entry Draft.

I hop on over to Sitemeter to check on my traffic, and what do I find?

Good golly, Miss Molly! I've been Zerg Rushed!

I feel ... I feel so claustrophobic!

I also have the sneaking suspicious that I might have to make an extra batch of Betty Crocker brownies (or ten) for the blogger gathering on Friday, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Bad jokes and equally bad references to real-time strategy video games aside, a metric ton of 'Thank you!' to Paul at Kukla's Korner for linking to both me and Drew at End of the Bench in your blog post at, as well as to Trade Rumor-meister general Spector over at Spector's Hockey, where I'm getting absolutely barraged from. I'm definitely feeling positively over whelmed right about now ... but again, positively!

But, yeah. Okay. Honestly, I sort of feel like the guy caught with his trousers down at his ankles, because I wasn't at all ready to post anything today, instead readying to post on Wednesday like I said I would on Friday. But let me toss out a few things before I go and make sure I don't overcook my chicken breasts on the grill:

Scott Howson was officially introduced as the GM of the Blue Jackets on Friday, and Jackets' fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief that no last-minute change of heart came to hit Howson a la Bob Murray. Now all people in Columbus have to do is hope that he doesn't pull a Billy Donovan, but I'm pretty sure that won't happen.

I was able to see Howson's press conference in full, and liked what he had to say when he was answering questions from the modest contingent of media that was there. Although he did what was expected in dancing around some questions, you had the feeling that he takes this opportunity very seriously, and will be going about the evaluation of the franchise, both in terms of the players and the front office, in an efficient manner.

This includes, of course, what to do with former Doug MacLean hires such as Jim Clark and Don Boyd (who both interviewed for the GM position as well), the majority of the scouting staff, assistant coaches Gord Murphy and Gary Agnew (and it is given that Hitchcock will have a fair share of say in what happens with them), and the like. But with the draft just a measly 72 hours away from now, it'd be folly to do a giant shake-up now. Save that for after the draft, either during the free agency period, or just before the start of the pre-season.

Then there is the speculation about both Adam Foote and Sergei Fedorov, whose contracts leave the Jackets in a bind in terms of their own, team-enforced salary cap. The general consensus seems to be that Foote, at $4 million for this year, might not be worth buying out at two-thirds value over the course of two seasons. Fedorov, however, has a $6 million contract that wraps up this year, meaning a two-thirds buyout spread over this year and next equals $2 million per year against the salary.

Here's the million dollar question, though: is there anyone out there on the free agent market that ...

-Is a capable center.
-Can be bought for about $4 million a year.

As it stands, the Jackets are in desperate need of a centerman who is of a higher quality, but it's already been beaten in to our heads that a Daniel Briere, a Chris Drury, or even a Scotty Gomez is just not within the Jackets' salary. So where do you look for a poor man's version of these players?

Then there's the search for a top tier defenseman, but I don't even want to get in to that just yet.

Anyway, I've got to get going. I still have dinner to make and eat, exercise to do, and one or two other errands to run before it gets to be too late. The draft gathering is still set for 4:30 PM on Friday at the Bud Light Arena Pub, in the rear of the pub. And if that doesn't work? Once again, re-converge outside of the R-Bar at 4:45 PM ... but trust me, I'll be as shocked as a fly hitting a bug zapper if the BLAP isn't a possibility.

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  • At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Paul said…

    Ha, we should have put some ads up, we could have made millions!!!
    Glad you are getting some hits and folks who haven't been to your site return in the future.

  • At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just a heads up, I believe that Mark the Shark from 103.9 WTDA plans to broadcast a pre-draft show from the Bud Light Arena Pub about the same time you guys are meeting up. They plan to have some current CBJ players as well as Hitchcock there for short interviews. So, it's probably going to be VERY crowded there.

  • At 7:47 AM, Blogger Michael said…

    Thanks for the heads up, Anonymous!

    We'll just have to see how everything goes. A secondary idea beyond The R Bar -- since it sounds like the BLAP will be accessible -- could be to instead move the gathering to the lounge-esque area that is just outside of the rear doors in to the pub. There's a TV or two there, several seats and a couch or two, a table, and the like.

    A definite possibility.

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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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