Blue Jackets Media Day Tidbits

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson/Jeff Little (The Hockey Writers)

The Columbus Blue Jackets held a Media Day luncheon today at Nationwide Arena.  Speakers included General Manager Scott Howson, Head Coach Scott Arniel, Steve Mason, Antoine Vermette, Jeff Carter, and R.J. Umberger.  The theme of the day seemed to be optimism and excitement, two words that were used in abundance by Howson, the  players, and the coach.   “I think there is a lot of excitement, energy, enthusiasm and optimism around our team,” Howson said.  “You can feel it in the community and amongst our players.”

When asked about the off-season moves of Scott Howson, R.J. Umberger who lives in Columbus year-round could tell the fans were excited.  “It’s fun to see the reaction of the fans, it’s only July and everyone is excited for hockey and ready to get going.”

Goaltender Steve Mason echoed Umberger’s enthusiasm.  “There is definitely a sense of confidence around the team, you can’t help but feel more confident when you see the pieces that were added over the summer by Scott Howson.”

 

Tidbits:

  • When asked about how preparations are this year compared to last year, Coach Arniel stated that he is actually more relaxed this year
  • When asked about the power play Arniel mentioned not only the additions of Carter, James Wisniewski, and Vinny Prospal, but also new assistant coach Todd Richards.  Richards was successful in both San Jose as an assistant and Minnesota as a head coach in improving both teams power play units
  • Scott Howson believes the organization is deeper than it has ever been, prospects like Ryan Johansen, Cam Atkinson, Tomas Kubalik, and David Savard were mentioned as being ready to push for jobs.  Howson has also brought in some AHL veterans like Alexandre Giroux and Martin St. Pierre that could see some time with the big club if injuries begin to mount
  • The team will be travelling to Miami, Ohio for a team-building retreat
  •  Radek Martinek will miss the first day of training camp.   Martinek is travelling to the Czech Republic to attend the funeral of close friend Josef Vasicek who was killed in the tragic plane crash involving the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
  • Mason has been working with new Goaltending Coach Ian Clark over the summer.  Mason said Clark is “intense” and has been pushing him hard, especially on fundamentals and reactions
  • When asked about contract negotiations, Umberger who is in the last year of his contract, simply stated that he was confident that something would get done
  • One of the newest Blue Jackets to join Twitter, Umberger said he found it a good way to promote both the team and the game in general

Alex Stallings

Alex Stallings

Alex is a credentialed reporter covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. He is currently attending Western Governors University. He lives in Columbus with his wife and five children.
Alex Stallings

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