A letter to myself: Scott Hartnell tells his rookie self to keep his head up – literally

Scott Hartnell (Nhan Chu/Allsport)

(For our Rookie Issue earlier this season, we ask Blue Jackets veteran and NHL fan favorite Scott Hartnell to provide some advice to himself 15 years ago when he entered the league as an 18-year-old rookie with the Nashville Predators. This is what he had to say…)

Hey Buddy:

Wow, that was some hit, wasn’t it? You’ll probably never skate through the neutral zone with your head down when Darren Langdon is on the ice again, right? In case you’re wondering where you are at the moment, you’re in Raleigh, N.C. Actually, you’re in an ambulance and, yeah, that’s your dad riding with you. Way to screw up the Dads’ Trip there, pal. Read more

Watch 11-year-old Jordyn Leopold talk about the letter that brought her dad home

Jared Clinton
Jordyn Leopold (via Minnesota Wild/Wild TV)

The best news item from trade deadline day, and inarguably the most heartwarming, was the story of a letter sent from the daughter of Jordan Leopold to the Wild coaching staff – one that asked if the team could, please, bring her dad back home to Minnesota.

In one of the final moves of the day, the Wild made young Jodryn’s wish come true when they acquired her father from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Justin Falk and a fifth round pick in the upcoming draft. What is now being called “The Letter” surfaced within hours of the trade’s announcement.

On the night her dad played his first game in Minnesota, Wild TV caught up with Jordyn to ask her about how her letter came to be and see what’s next for the 11-year-old. Read more

Newly-acquired Blue Jacket David Clarkson likely out rest of regular season after suffering torn oblique muscle

David Clarkson (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Only three games into his career as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, hard-luck left winger David Clarkson was sidelined 4-to-6 weeks – in other words, more than likely the rest of the regular season – with a torn oblique muscle.

Acquired Feb. 26 from Toronto for severely injured winger Nathan Horton, the 30-year-old Clarkson suffered the injury during his debut game with Columbus two days later and had been playing through the injury until he couldn’t continue during the Jackets’ 5-3 loss to the Capitals Tuesday. Read more

Jordan Leopold’s daughter, and the heartwarming fan letter behind her father’s trade to the Wild

Adam Proteau
Jordan Leopold (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off a relatively minor trade before the 3 p.m. Eastern trade deadline, but when Minnesota landed Jordan Leopold from the Jackets, they not only acquired a veteran defenseman, but granted the wish of a young hockey fan – Leopold’s 11-year-old daughter, Jordyn.

Due to his duties with the Jackets this season, Jordan Leopold, a native of Golden Valley, Minn., hadn’t been back home since November. And in a letter sent to the Wild in January – and obtained by Minneapolis-St. Paul-based radio station KFAN 100.3 – his daughter Jordyn made a heartfelt request for the team to consider acquiring her father: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Blackhawks seek Kane replacement, Sharks have tough decision with Niemi

Patrick Kane's upper-body injury has landed him on the LTIR. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chicago’s Patrick Kane is out with a broken clavicle, which has spurred on speculation the Blackhawks will be dogged in pursuing someone to replace some of the winger’s production.

To be fair, there’s no one in this year’s trade market capable of adequately replacing Kane. At best, the Blackhawks land a decent scoring winger to fill the void until Kane’s return sometime in mid-May, provided the ‘Hawks get that far into the post-season. Read more

David Clarkson: No regrets signing with Toronto

Ryan Kennedy
David Clarkson (Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

If all goes according to plan, right winger David Clarkson will be in the lineup Saturday night when the Columbus Blue Jackets take on one of his former teams, the New Jersey Devils. But it’s not his time in Newark that folks like to pontificate on, it’s his brief tenure in Toronto after Clarkson signed a big free agent deal with his hometown team.

Now that the dust has settled on the shocking trade that sent him to Columbus in exchange for injured winger Nathan Horton, Clarkson has revealed his thoughts on the turbulent times he had as a Maple Leaf, and they’re not as bad as you might think.

Read more

Blue Jackets’ Corey Tropp scores the nicest disallowed goal you might ever see

Adam Proteau
Montreal's Devante Smith-Pelly and Columbus' Corey Tropp (Jamie Sabau/NHL)

Blue Jackets left winger Corey Tropp didn’t score a goal that counted Thursday in Columbus’ 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, but his disallowed goal on star netminder Carey Price was nonetheless a marvel of hand-eye co-ordination.

The 25-year-old Tropp has just one goal and six points in 46 games with the Jackets this season, and he nearly had his second after being knocked to the ice directly in front of Price and putting the puck in the net from a seated position on the ice: (video via Reddit user Grizzy19 and streamable.com) Read more

Clarkson-for-Horton trade a legal, and brilliant, circumvention of the salary cap

Ken Campbell
Nathan Horton  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

So much for the untradeable player with the unmovable contract. That species of player, thought to be alive and well in the salary cap era, does not exist. In fact, he never has because GMs such as David Nonis and Jarmo Kekalainen can cook up deals like the one they did Thursday afternoon.

In swapping the ill-suited and much maligned David Clarkson for the seriously and likely permanently injured Nathan Horton, Nonis and Kekalainen conspired to help each other out of contractual straitjackets that were paralyzing their rosters. This deal was so much more than just swapping one bad contract for another one. Read more