Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Worst Team In The NHL

Two guesses as to which team I am referring to in the title....! :-(

Okay, every year SOMEbody has to be at the bottom. That's just the way it is; for every winner, there must be a loser. But let's look at the facts for a second. This is the second year IN A ROW where the Columbus Blue Jackets had *such* an enthusiastic start to a season, only to end up nowhere near the Play Off table.

Last year was Columbus' Tenth Anniversary Season, with a new coach, and new things happening....or not. The big change in 2010-2011 was that Mike Commodore went away. Well, he must not have been the problem Coach Scott Arniel thought he was, eh? After a less than stellar season, (although toying near the PlayOff line once or twice just to tease the fans), CBJ management got rid of about half the team. They raised salaries of the players they brought in or decided to keep around. Jan Hedja, Mathew Garon, Jakob Voracek, Andrew Murray, Kyle Wilson, and Rudy Klesla, slackers all, were showed the door. Players that I don't particularly think were or are "all that" were allowed to stay (Steve Mason, Fyedor Tutin, and yes, Antoinne Vermette, I'm talking to you!!). Add in a few terrible injuries and voila, we have another half-baked season where we are in the basement. Current standings as of today (1-22-12) have the Blue Jackets at 32 points. The conference leader is Detroit at 65 points. They have won 32 games to our 13.

So what's to happen? opinion is to keep a core of consistently hard-working players, such as Derek Dorsett and Jared Boll, and build a new team around them! I wouldn't necessarily ditch Captain Rick Nash but I think I would demote him, since we have to assume some of these problems are because of his leadership abilities (or lack of same!). Anyone who has scored any goals at all are automatically in. We keep Vinny Prospal, even though he is a "free agent." I don't care about that; he can play, and has been doing great. Curtis Sanford should be made Lead Goalie. New kids like John Moore, Matt Calvert, Grant Clitsome, and David Savard should be added and kept. And of course, my new favorite, Ryan Russell, has a spot as long as he wants one. (He scored two goals within three games; that's a better average than the Captain right now...!) 

To sum up....I'm not necessarily abandoning my team. However, now that Coach Arniel has been relieved of his duties, it's time to make some more moves. Let's get rid of what (who) isn't working and strive to get better. Otherwise, really, what's the point?! 

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