The Columbus Blue Jackets, like many teams throughout professional sports, try to offer their season-ticket holders the best possible experience. That’s especially true after a tough season that saw an up-and-coming Jackets team face a difficult start to the season and finish with the league’s fourth-worst record.
One of the ways the Blue Jackets are trying to thank their fans is by having some of the players ring up season-ticket holders and thank them for renewing their tickets and sticking with the team. And in a video released by the team Friday, it was winger Cam Atkinson who was doing his best to show his appreciation for fans who will be back to watch the team next season. There was more than meets the eye to Atkinson’s day on the phones, though, as Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno was waiting for his moment to try to get under his teammate’s skin.
Atkinson is asked to ring up “Tony Mazza,” a season-ticket holder who feels like he isn’t getting enough access to meet the players or be a part of special events. Little did Atkinson know that Mazza was actually Foligno sitting in another room. Read more
By Mo Cranker
For the first time in a long time, the Columbus Blue Jackets actually had a very successful season — just not in the most typical sense of the word successful.
A lot of the hockey world had pegged the Blue Jackets as a lock for a wild-card spot before this season even started, and after a seven-game losing streak to start the year, they proved any expectation of a playoff birth to be unrealistic at best.
Although the team did win some games after the team fired coach Todd Richards and replaced him with John Tortorella, things still didn’t change all that much. To top it all off, starting goaltender, and former Vezina winner, Sergei Bobrovsky suffered three groin injuries throughout the year, crippling the Jackets already slim playoff hopes.
All hail the Frozen Four champs from North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks stomped all over Quinnipiac in the final and while Vancouver pick Brock Boeser has confirmed his return for another campaign, several free agents are drumming up interest now. Boeser’s linemate, Drake Caggiula, helped his cause with two goals in the final, while defenseman Troy Stecher is expected to leave school early for an NHL contract. In the meantime, San Jose won the derby for Lithuanian goalie Mantas Armalis and the Michigan Wolverines lost their two best players to the pro ranks. Read about them and more in our weekly prospect wrap:
Much of the 2015-16 campaign has been forgettable for the Columbus Blue Jackets, but one of the lone bright spots has been the play of center Boone Jenner, who in his third season is emerging as a great depth-scoring threat for the team.
Jenner’s 30 goals this season are an impressive total for the third-year pro and his scoring touch has made him a fan favorite in Ohio, but what will endear him even more to the Blue Jackets faithful is his determination. Need an example? Look no further than the 22-year-old’s diving poke check assist in the penultimate game of Columbus’ season.
In the final minutes of the second frame Friday, Jenner was able to strip the puck from Sabres winger Johan Larsson deep in Buffalo territory but the puck skittered away towards the middle of the ice. With the puck seemingly out of reach, Sabres blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen was close to making a play on the puck to turn it up ice, but Jenner wasn’t about to let that happen. He dove towards the puck, reached out his stick and poked the puck towards Nick Foligno, who scored the game-winner: Read more
For the Lake Erie Monsters, the result of Friday’s AHL contest will be secondary to the health of winger Brett Gallant.
Gallant, 27, collapsed while sitting on the bench during a TV timeout in the second period of the Monsters’ weekend-opening game against the Toronto Marlies. Gallant remained down while he was attended to by medical staff, and after several minutes on the bench, he was placed on a stretcher and taken from the ice.
Shortly after Gallant was taken from the ice, the game between the Monsters and Marlies continued.
According to Lake Erie coach Jared Bednar, Gallant experienced a fainting incident.
“All indications are that he’s fine,” Bednar told THN’s Ryan Kennedy. “When he left here, he was up talking and walking around. They were going to take him to the hospital to run some tests and make sure nothing more serious was going on. We haven’t heard anything more than he’s doing fine.”
There was no immediate update on Gallant’s status, but before the start of the third frame the Monsters’ official Twitter account reported that he had left the building for further medical attention.
“We can report that Brett Gallant is alert and conscious,” the Monsters said. “He is currently being transported to a local hospital. We’re thinking of you, Gally.” Read more
Silver linings have been in short supply if you’re a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. That second-half charge from last year? Zero carryover. Top center Ryan Johansen? Traded – but at least Seth Jones was equal value for the blueline. There will be no playoffs in Ohio for the 13th time in 15 seasons, but hey: at least you’ve got Boone Jenner, Jackets loyalists.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your conspiracy theories. Wait, how many games do the Toronto Maple Leafs have remaining this season? Oh, four. And how many games did Nazem Kadri get suspended? Hmm, four. Well, now, isn’t that convenient.
Kadri just happens to be the Maple Leafs best player of late. He also happens to be their hottest scorer, with eight points in his past six games, and their leading scorer with 45 points. (Although that point total definitely puts him in fastest-kid-at-fat-camp territory.) So having Kadri out of the lineup for the final four games of the regular season obviously enhances the Leafs chances of running the table with losses and catching the red-hot Edmonton Oilers for last place overall and the best chance of winning the draft lottery.
It’s been eight years since my last game as an amateur athlete. The day I had dreamed of had finally arrived, although it wasn’t quite as imagined. I finished my OHL career on a warm spring day – I remember so vividly because it was the day that began my slide from my wonderful seat atop the world. After the playoffs ended, I was banged up. My shoulder was a mess, my legs were shot (not to mention how emotional of a time the past 12 months had been), but of course there was still work that needed to be done as the Columbus Blue Jackets weren’t about to let me enjoy my summer just yet, and I was shipped off to AHL Syracuse to begin my quest to play in the NHL.