If you’re a Blue Jackets fan or just a hockey fan in general, you’re well aware of the looming disaster for Columbus. Artemi Panarin (and his fellow countryman Sergei Bobrovsky) are both unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2019 season. None of the parties involved have been able to reach an agreement on an extension or new contract, to the point where Panarin and his agent cut off contract talks and informed the team that he will not consider his future until after the season.
This puts the Blue Jackets in a VERY difficult spot. They aren’t quite a cup contender as constructed, but they could get to that level with a deadline deal or two. All of that gets thrown into a blender if Panarin isn’t in the mix though. If the NHL has learned anything from last year’s Islanders-Tavares situation, its not worth letting some prima donna string you along all season and into free agency and then bail without the courtesy of letting you get anything in return. Although the Islanders are doing just fine, I’m sure they would have preferred to get a young player and a draft pick for Tavares at last year’s deadline. Now the Jackets are faced with the million dollar decision. Do they try to make a run at a cup by acquiring a few players this month, or do they see if they can get a quality return for a Panarin rental? There’s really no good answer and it’s a really shitty situation to be in.
The Score – Could Gritty have a future in politics? Some people in New Jersey apparently think so.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot earned 14 write-in votes from residents in Camden, N.J. in the midterm elections, according to Michael Blinn of the New York Post. There was a pair of votes for Gritty to be county sheriff and another two for the U.S. House in N.J. District 1.
Before we start, let’s address the elephant in the room. I know what everyone is thinking.
But Mac, haven’t we already seen what an orange politician would look like in office?
Well, loyal readers, I don’t think I have to tell you that Sesame Street’s Ernie lost his campaign for Senate in 2010. We all remember how that went down. Oh, what could’ve been. Stupid leaked tapes.
Gritty is a known barbarian. Actually, I don’t know that for a fact but look at him. He looks like Scott Hartnell lost his gym membership and fired his barber. And I say that as someone who loves Scott Hartnell. But when it comes to trusting a mascot with our healthcare and public spending, I want more than a non-verbal, unkempt Scott Hartnell running the show. Continue reading →
I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t looking good for our captain Nick Foligno early on in the fight. Phaneuf is a pretty big guy and he appears to have studied up on Foligno’s fighting abilities because it was clear he wanted no part of standing toe-to-toe with the Blue Jackets’ fearless captain. But man, once Foligno got free..
There’s no other way to say it. That goal was downright incredible. After being destroyed by the Tampa Bay Lightning over the weekend the Blue Jackets needed a boost and Anthony Duclair was the man for the job. I know it’s way too early to throw out Goal of the Year talk, but this has to be in the conversation. I don’t care if it started by him falling down or the Flyers half-assing it on defense, Duclair looked like a magician on the ice.
Who knew Cam Atkinson’s two goals could be overshadowed by a single goal in in the first period, but that’s the way it goes some nights.
A lot of the chatter surrounding the Blue Jackets this season has been about the impending doom of Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin’s contract situations and whether or not the Jackets can focus on winning now while protecting the future. Nights like tonight and seeing Duclair pull a rabbit out of the hat makes you realize we just need to enjoy the ride and see what the 2018-19 season has in store for us before we lose sleep over Panarin wanting to play in Tampa.
Here’s to hoping Duclair has a few more incredible goals like this up his sleeve. New York gave up on him way too early before sending him to Arizona for a few lackluster seasons and a very forgettable stint in Chicago. It’s time for Columbus to be on the right side of history when taking a chance on a guy in free agency. We’ve been burned too many times before.
We’re two weeks into this young NHL season and I think it’s time to admit that the league has a fighting problem. The NHL is currently on pace for 241 fights this year, its lowest total in over 18 years (I couldn’t find stats from before 2000). We’re currently looking at 0.19 fights per game and only 16.84% of games with a fight. Just 10 years ago there were 0.60 fights per game and 41.38% of games with fights. (All stats courtesy of hockeyfights.com) So what’s the problem? People aren’t fighting enough!
Last night’s season opener for the Columbus Blue Jackets was a fight and shootout short of having everything fans go to games for. We had great goalie play accompanied by bone crushing hits from the muscle line of Josh Anderson, Brandon Dubinsky and Boooooooooooooooooone Jenner. We had speed out of the fourth line of Anthony Duclair, Riley Nash and Sonny Milano that showed the speed and skill of some organization’s first line. All around, it was great to get out of Detroit with two points to start the season with a backup goalie at the helm.
Maybe if there was a fight and shootout guaranteed, the fine people of Detroit would’ve actually come to the game. How do you call yourself Hockeytown and then have a sea of empty seats on Opening Night? Just doesn’t add up.
Exciting news out of Columbus this morning where we’re learning that John Tortorella will remain behind the Blue Jackets bench through 2021. We figured it was just a matter of time after GM Jarmo Kekalainen and president of hockey operations John Davidson signed their extensions last week. Torts is their guy and they have to be ecstatic about the culture change he’s led over the previous few seasons. Continue reading →