The Columbus Blue Jackets won their first game in three weeks on Friday night, snapping their franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Scott Hartnell‘s return to the City of Brotherly Love. But the Blue Jackets now find themselves at the bottom of a very deep hole, sitting second-last in the Eastern Conference after 16 games.
Next weekend marks American Thanksgiving, a quarter pole of sorts when teams usually have a sense of whether they’re a playoff team or not. Very few teams make the playoffs if they’re not within four points of a spot at Thanksgiving, and Columbus is a far cry from that right now.
Still, Friday’s win comes as a relief for the injury-ravaged CBJs, who are missing key players like Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Nathan Horton and Sergei Bobrovsky from their roster. ‘Goalie Bob’ returned Friday to back up on the bench, but Dubinsky is recovering from abdominal surgery, Anisimov is still out with a concussion and Horton is more worried about his quality of life than an NHL return at this point.
If it turns out that this is the last that we’ve seen of Nathan Horton as an NHL player, there will likely be a segment of the population that figures Horton has had it pretty lucky. After all, he played the game he loved at the highest level and has made $38 million doing it, with another $32.1 million coming to him in retirement.
What’s a little back pain when that’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Well, the money is nice, but it won’t replace the void that is created by being robbed of the opportunity to do something you’ve done since you were a child. And nobody knows that better than Horton’s former teammate Marc Savard, whose career was suddenly ended 25 games into the 2010-11 season, largely because of a concussion he sustained on a hit from Matt Cooke the season before. Read more
Since the NHL suspended Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov with pay while he’s under investigation for suspicion of domestic violence, the club has found it difficult to fill his spot on the roster.
The Kings possess limited cap space, and with Voynov’s $4.166-million annual average salary still counting against their cap, they’ve struggled to find a replacement. Only this week did sufficient room open up to allow the Kings to sign free agent blueliner Jamie McBain to a one-year, $550K deal. Read more
For the better part of two seasons, when it comes to prospects the consistent names have been Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Both players stand to be NHL superstars and will almost undoubtedly go first and second overall in some order.
McDavid and Eichel are the type of players teams wait for – the type of player that you “build through the draft” with. But for nearly every team in the league, there’s a selection of undrafted talent that carries some of the load. In certain instances, they’re key cogs. In others, they’re depth players who contribute in ways you can’t find on the score sheet.
For the purposes of cutting out the established NHLers like Martin St-Louis and Mark Giordano, this list of the best undrafted players in the league today are the young guns that have broken into the NHL by unconventional means in the last five seasons: Read more
Since Jeff Carter was moved out of Philadelphia in 2011, he’s been a critical component of two Stanley Cup winners, won an Olympic gold medal, banked tens of millions of dollars and gotten hitched. Life is indeed sweet for the 29-year-old center.
But the question we’re asking today is who won that deal between the Flyers and Blue Jackets three-plus years later, based on the results of that swap, and the subsequent package Columbus received for the then disgruntled Carter.
Here’s our re-assessment of the transaction in the latest installment in our series of re-opened cold-case files.
It’s almost incredible to believe that through the first two weeks of the NHL season there was little-to-no discussion about what the NHL was doing to increase player safety. The suspendable offenses were few and far between and it looked like everything may magically have been fixed.
Now, just four full days into November, we’ve had a hit in question on a near nightly basis. Tuesday night was no different than the three prior, as Jack Johnson caught Jiri Tlusty with a vicious check to an unsuspecting Jiri Tlusty, leaving the 26-year-old dazed: Read more
Halloween is a time when you get to take on a new persona and be that person you’ve always wanted to be. It’s the time to take some risks, dress as something bold or hilarious, and have a good time.
Or, if you’re Buffalo Sabres’ captain Brian Gionta, it is another day of the year that you can dress up as a hockey player.
Gionta, along with a number of other NHLers, took part in a video session with the league to discuss some of their favorite costumes as kids: Read more
Nathan Horton, Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky and Sergei Bobrovsky. That’s a lot of core to have on the shelf but the Columbus – oh wait, add Mark Letestu to the IR – Blue Jackets are doing what they – also, James Wisniewski, are you kidding me? – uh, can.
Spirits were high in Columbus this summer after the franchise’s second-ever playoff berth ended with its first-ever post-season victories, even if the Jackets fell to Pittsburgh in the first round. But it seems the only spirits present now in Ohio are phantoms of the operating table, as the Jackets have been killed by injuries throughout the lineup. Along with the players mentioned above, players such as Ryan Murray, Matt Calvert, Nick Foligno and Cam Atkinson have also missed time.