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Blue Jackets Links

Just give him even more money; maybe he'll like Columbus then.

Monday, June 04, 2007
A whole bunch of things to touch on after a crazy weekend, but let's start off with the more important Blue Jackets news.

Prima donna Zherdev strikes again
You know, I just can't help but feel disgust after seeing what Nikolai Zherdev's "adviser" Sasha Tyjnch told Aaron Portzline and The Columbus Dispatch over the weekend. But then the other thing I feel is this great sense of apathy.

Zherdev backers will quickly jump to his aid, I'm sure, saying how this isn't Z making these comments but just an adviser of his who may be looking to stir the pot. To them, I say that unless I see Zherdev comes out publicly and states that he wants to play for the Blue Jackets, then there's nothing defendable here. What Zherdev and his camp don't seem to understand is that he is not in any position to start "suggesting" a trade. Z, as most people will recall, is not coming off one of his best seasons ... 10 goals in all, when this kid is supposed to be such a brilliant goal scorer?

At one point, Tyjnch says this about Zherdev's mind-set:

But, Sasha Tyjnych said, Zherdev is spending this summer with the mind-set that he'll remain with the Blue Jackets.

Being of the mind-set that one will remain a Blue Jacket, and wanting to play for the Blue Jackets, are two wholly different things based off of manipulative semantics. Much like when one says they apologize "if they offended you", compared to when someone says they apologize "for offending you", if that makes any sense.

Remember that months ago, there was an article that The Dispatch published concerning the opinion of other players in the Blue Jackets' organization on Zherdev, too, where at least a handful of unnamed CBJ players denounced Zherdev's behavior, while at the same time lamenting his work ethic. It's that very work ethic which has also led to Z being benched at times during the season, as well as chased off of the ice during practice skates not just by Ken Hitchcock, but also Gary Agnew.

I've heard plenty about how Hitch has thrown Zherdev under the bus at several occasions, including during the town hall meetings that took place back in late April and throughout May. Here's the thing, though ... Hitch has also called out other players, too. But the thing is that with those other players, such as Pascal Leclaire, he wasn't outright venomous or offensive. And that's because, in my humble opinion, Hitch knew that those players were doing the best they could to play better, more responsibly, and conform to a system which is supposed to help this team. Zherdev, instead, has tried to play the maverick ... the cowboy who plays by his own rules.

Does he, or his advisers, really think they'll be able to swing a favorable trade? Considering his poor production this past season, the Jackets' would be fortunate to get a 2nd round pick for this upcoming draft for him. And if I was team management, I wouldn't want to let go of Zherdev unless the team that he was going to gave the Blue Jackets, at the least, a 1st round pick and said they'd take responsibility for every penny left on his salary. This team could use an additional $2-3 million off of the books prior to the start of free agency to put to a better, if not long-term replacement tucked away in the FA market in a month.

Let Zherdev rot, I say. Like I said, unless he comes out publicly and states something contrary to Tyjnch's comments, then I have no reason to believe that Z isn't actively looking for a trade. Then again, I recall hearing how he wasn't doing too hot at learning the English language despite the requirements in his contract that he make a concerted effort to do so, so maybe that'd be expecting too much from him, right?

Blue Jackets' RBK Edge jerseys to be unveiled at the NHL Entry Draft
While Bethany broke this news last week, I wanted to wait until there was some sort of news link or word from a direct source that the Blue Jackets would be unveiling their own version of the RBK Edge jerseys at the NHL Entry Draft. Most signs had been pointing towards trying to get them ready for an unveiling, but nothing was officially announced until the end of last week, when the Jackets did so on their website.

It's my understanding, though, that this will only be an unveiling, which will take place just prior to the start of the draft itself onstage inside of Nationwide Arena. Unless I hear otherwise, the current plan is to take pre-sales for the jerseys at the draft. Even so, I'm happy to hear about this, and excited, too!

So this now means that at least two teams -- the Blue Jackets and the Washington Capitals -- have publicly announced that they'll be unveiling their new jerseys at the draft. Does anyone out there know of any other teams that have announced the same? It'd be a shame if only 2 of a whole 30 teams were doing so, and while I'm sure there's some teams just not announcing it until the draft edges closer, you never know.

GM search wraps up; waiting on the final decision
In the article posted to earlier concerning Zherdev, there's also a mention of how Don Boyd, the Blue Jackets' director of player personnel, has either had his second interview today, or did so yesterday. Bob Murray was also in during the time between games 2 and 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, meaning that by the end of today, all of the final four candidates will have gotten their opportunity to show Mr. Mac (majority owner John McConnell) and Mike Priest why they should be his beloved team's head hockey man.

So what do we do now? Well ... we wait. And we wait, and we wait. And the longer we wait, the more that you get the feeling that the previous speculation about Murray being the top candidate is no mere speculation. I have no problem with that ... nothing like a little SCF to keep me pre-occupied while waiting for the Blue Jackets' knight in shining armor to come to the rescue, right?

Drew enacts Plan Alpha Delta Omega; bloggers plan to converge on Columbus faster than a blitzkrieg
... or at least that's what I hope will happen, now that Drew's gotten a plethora of e-mails sent out, we're seeing a lot of interest in a blogger get-together. Unfortunately for The Sailor, I don't have enough money to buy a round of frosty (or even warm) brewskis; but I did recently buy some yeast recently while attempting to make my own homemade pizza from scratch (dough making and all), so maybe I can dabble in some beer making of my own!

Or not. I wouldn't want to be held responsible for the death of anyone due to my own adventures in beer fermentation. Oiy.

I'm going to do my damndest to update anything that needs updating on that big post on the blog by the end of this week. Additionally, with the draft itself 18 days away, we still have some time to try and pick the perfect spot for people to gather at. If the other CBJ bloggers such as Sarah, Beth, Herringbone (even though he's stuck all the way in Seattle), or Tyler (or even the more Columbus/OSU-centric bloggers) want to help in the brainstorm process when it comes to picking the gathering place, then go nuts! The help would be appreciated!

Beyond my own NHL Entry Draft Primer, Sarah at Neutral Zone Trap has also done an amazing job herself at giving a massive rundown about Columbus, where to go, what to do, and everything else you can think of. Considering she's been here longer than me, I'd say she does a much more bang up job than I do when it pertains to covering all the bases on things you can partake in beyond just the draft while you're here.

Lastly, the Blue Jackets have been kind enough to put up a page on their website where you can get a good rundown on what to expect during the draft, and when things will be going on, so check it out!

I'm out for now. But not before I forget the weekly You Don't Know Jack!

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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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