Fifteen years ago the Calgary Flames played host to the NHL Expansion Draft. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild would see their first season as a team that fall. However, they would first need to field a team.
The rules were as such:
- 26 of the 28 current teams had to participate in the draft
- The Atlanta Thrashers and Nashville Predators rosters were completely protected as they entered into the league a few years before the expansion draft
- Those 26 teams could protect either one goaltender, 5 defensemen, and 9 forwards OR 2 goaltenders, 3 defensemen, and 7 forwards
- If a team protected only one goaltender the unprotected goaltenders didn’t need to meet any experience requirements
- If a team protected two goaltenders, the unprotected goaltenders had to meet experience requirements
- The unprotected goaltenders had to of appeared in 10 NHL game in the 1999-00 season OR 25 games in the 1998-99 and 1999-00 season combined
- For a game to be counted in the above total a goaltender had to be in net for at least 31 minutes
- The unprotected goaltenders had to of appeared in 10 NHL game in the 1999-00 season OR 25 games in the 1998-99 and 1999-00 season combined
- At least 1 defenseman and 2 forwards left unprotected by each team had to reach experience requirements
- They had to appear in at least 40 games in the 1999-00 season OR 70 games in the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons combined
- 2 players from each participating draft teams had to be chosen. However, only 1 goaltender and 1 defenseman could be selected from each franchise
- The first 24 picks had to be 3 goalies, 8 defensemen, and 13 forwards. The final 2 picks for each team could be any position they desired
Who did the Blue Jackets choose to draft and where are they now?
With the first pick of the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft the Columbus Blue Jackets picked goalie Rick Tabaracci of the Colorado Avalanche. At the time of the draft Tabaracci was playing for the Utah Grizzlies of the IHL.
Tabaracci did not sign with the Blue Jackets and finished his career playing for the Utah Grizzlies.
The season leading to the expansion draft Frederic Chabot was named the International Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player and Top Goaltender. He played 62 games with the Houston Aeros where he had a 92% save percentage and 2.13 goals against average.
The Jackets agreed to select Chabot from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2001 2nd round pick. He didn’t sign with the Blue Jackets and finished his North American career playing for the Houston Aeros.
Chabot would then go on to play overseas for the Nurnberg Ice Tigers (2001-04), Vienna Capitals (2004-05), and Adler Mannheim (2005-06).
After retiring, Chabot led an extensive career as a goalie coach and consultant. During the 2006-07 season he was the goaltending coach for Austria’s World Championship team. Chabot then went on to oversee all goaltenders for the entire AIK Stockholm (SWE-2) organization from 2007-09. During that time he also was an instructor for Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp. In 2009, Chabot was also the goaltending consultant for Hockey Canada and the National Junior team. Canada’s National Junior team went on to win the gold at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship in Ottawa, Canada. After Canada’s gold medal win, Chabot was hired by the Edmonton Oilers as a goaltending consultant on July, 6 2009. He would stay with the organization until November, 24 2014.
Goaltender, Dwayne Roloson was selected from the Buffalo Sabres as part of an agreement that brought Matt Davidson, Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, a 2000 5th round draft pick, and 2001 5th round draft pick to the Blue Jackets.
Roloson opted to sign with the Worcester Ice Cats, the St. Louis Blues AHL Affiliate, instead of the Blue Jackets. He played for 4 NHL teams (Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning), won 2 awards (Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award and Roger Crojiel Saving Grace Award), won a gold medal (2007 World Championship), and won a silver medal (2009 World Championship) before retiring in 2012.
Upon retiring Roloson was hired as a consultant for the Norfolk Avs. He then replaced Pete Peters as the Anaheim Ducks’ Goaltending Consultant in June 2013. A little over a year after joining the organization Roloson was able to suit up as an emergency goalie when John Gibson hurt himself and couldn’t play.
Defenseman, Mattias Timander was selected from the Boston Bruins and played 2 seasons with the Blue Jackets.
Prior to the 2002-03 season Timander was traded to the New York Islanders for a 4th round draft pick. In his first season with the Islanders Timander tallied 3 goals, 13 assists, and a -2 in 80 games. During the 2003-04 season he was shuttled between the Islanders and their affiliate quite a bit before being traded to the Flyers for a 7th round draft pick.
Timander finished his time in the NHL with the Flyers and in the offseason leading to the 2004-05 season returned to Sweden to play in the Elitserien with Modo Hockey. After the 2010-11 season Timander signed with Leksands IF of the HockeyAllscenskan where he would stay until he retired in May 2013.
Bert Robertsson was a defenseman from the Edmonton Oilers that the Blue Jackets picked up during the 2000 Expansion Draft.
For the two seasons that followed the expansion draft Robertsson was passed throughout the NHL. He only saw ice time in 2 NHL games. Those games were when he was with the New York Rangers in the 2000-01 season.
Robertsson retired in 2005 after playing 1 season with IIves (SM-Liga) and 2 season with Sodertaije SK (Swedish Elite League).
After being selected by the Blue Jackets from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rajamaki continued to play with TPS of Liga. He then went on to play for Timra of SHL until he retired after the 2004-05 season.
In 2008, Rajamaki became the Assistant Coach for Porin Assat, one of Finland’s junior leagues. He still coaches there today.
Defenseman, Jamie Pushor was selected from the Dallas Stars.
No matter how many times Pushor and the Blue Jackets were separated they always seemed to find a way back to one another. On March 15, 2002 the Jackets traded Pushor to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 4th round draft pick in the 2003 entry draft. The Blue Jackets brought Pushor back on December 10, 2003 only to trade him to the New York Rangers on January 23, 2004 for an 8th round draft pick in the 2004 draft. During the 2004 lockout season he signed as a free agent with Syracuse (AHL). The Jackets called Pushor up during the 2005-06 season. He would finish his career in Syracuse as their captain.
Pushor went on to become the Atlanta Thrashers’ Pro Scout for the 2010-11 season. At the end of the 2010-11 season, the Tampa Bay Lightning hired him on as their Pro Scout. Pushor still works there today.
Fun Fact: Pushor received the first fighting penalty in Blue Jackets history.
Phoenix Coyotes defenseman, Lyle Odelein was not only selected by the Blue Jackets to be on their team but to also be their Captain.
Odelein played a season and half with the Blue Jackets before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on March 19, 2002 for Jaroslav Spacek and a 2nd round pick in the 2003 entry draft. The Blackhawks then traded Odelein to the Dallas Stars on March 10th, 2003 for Sami Helenius and a 7th round pick in the 2004 entry draft.
The Stars opted not to sign Odelein after the 2002-03 season. He ended up signing with the Florida Panthers on September 9, 2003.
Odelein signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the start of the 2005-06 season. A knee injury would plague him most of the season and after having knee surgery never returned to the sport.
Fun Fact: Odelein holds down the 29th spot for Career Penalty Minutes in the NHL with 2316.
The Blue Jackets selected defenseman, Radim Bicanek, of the Chicago Blackhawks and kept him around for 2 seasons.
During the 2004-05 lockout season, Bicanek went back home to play for the HC JME Znojemisti Orli of the Czech Republic. After 5 seasons he moved to HC Kometa BMO. Bicanek stayed there until the 2013-14 season when he signed with Karlovy Vary HC. He still plays there today.
Although Mathieu Schneider, New York Rangers’ defenseman, was selected by the Blue Jackets he didn’t sign with them. Schneider remained a free agent until August 14, 2000 when he signed with the Los Angeles Kings. He went on to play for the Red Wings, Ducks, Thrashers, Canadiens, Canucks, and Coyotes before retiring in 2010.
On February 23,2011 Schneider became the NHLPA’s Special Assistant to the Executive Director.
Upon being selected by the Blue Jackets from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jonas Andersson-Junkka (defenseman) was sent to the Syracuse Crunch (AHL). He played one season in Syracuse before heading overseas. Andersson-Junka played out the rest of his career with HIFK (SM-Liga) and Lulea (SHL).
The Blue Jackets agreed to select both Dwayne Roloson (goalie) and Geoff Sanderson (Left Wing) from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Matt Davidson, Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, a 2000 5th round draft pick, and a 2001 5th round draft pick.
Sanderson spent 3 and half seasons with the Blue Jackets and scored the 1st hattrick of the organization.
He worked for the New York Islanders as a scout for two years. Sanderson currently runs Breakaway Matting, an oil and gas rental company in Calgary, Alberta.
After the Jackets claimed right winger, Turner Stevenson, from the Montreal Canadiens he was sent to the New Jersey Devils to complete a previous trade involving Krsysztof Oliwa.
Stevenson won the cup with the Devils in 2003.
In 2004, Stevenson signed a 3 year contract with the Flyers. His contract was bought out following the 2005-06 season after struggling with hip problems.
After retiring in 2007, Stevenson became an assistant coach with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He stayed there until the end of the 2010-11 season. Stevenson then went on to coach half a season with the Wenatchee Wild of the NAHL.
Robert Kron played two season with the Columbus Blue Jackets before heading to play for Lukko Rauma of SM-Liga.
Boston Bruins’ right winger, Steve Heinze, desperately wanted to wear the number 57 but was denied the chance until he was selected by the Blue Jackets in the 2000 Expansion Draft. He played 65 games in the inaugural season before being dealt to the Buffalo Sabres for a 3rd round pick in the 2001 entry draft.
Heinze signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings on July 4, 2001. He would finish out his career with the Kings.
Tyler Wright played for the Blue Jackets until being traded to the Anaheim Ducks during the 2005-06 season. At the end of the 2005-06 he went overseas to play for EHC Basel of the NLA. The NLA is the pro league in Switzerland.
In July 2007, Wright returned to the Blue Jackets as the Development Coach. He was promoted to Director of Amateur Scouting in 2011 and stayed there until July 2013.
Center Kevyn Adams was picked up by the Blue Jackets from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Adams was sent to the Florida Panthers at trade deadline for Ray Whitney and future considerations. During the 2001-02 he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes where he would win the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Adams would end his NHL career in Chicago after missing the majority of the 2007-08 season due to a knee injury sustained during the November 7, 2007 game against the Blue Jackets.
For a few years after retiring from the NHL Adams became a player agent. Then in August 2011 the Buffalo Sabres named him the Assistant Coach of the team. Adams would remain there until May of 2013.
On October 22, 2013 Adams was named Vice President and Director of HARBORCenter Academy of Hockey.
After claiming Dmitri Subbotin the Blue Jackets suggested he play the 2000-01 season in Russia. Playing for Dynamo he began to mature and became a standout player. Subbotin never came back to North America and finished his career in the VHL after the 2010-11 season.
Phoenix Coyotes’ right winger, Dallas Drake, was selected by the Jackets but chose to sign with the St. Louis Blues. Drake would stay with the Blues for 6 season and had the honor of being captain from 2005-06 to 2006-07.
After the 2006-07 season Drake contemplated retiring but opted to sign with the Detroit Red Wings hoping he would get a chance to raise the cup. Drake’s gut feeling was right. The Red Wings would win the 2008 Stanley Cup. After the 2007-08 season, Drake happily retired.
Bruce Gardiner played one season with the Blue Jackets. He scored the first goal in Blue Jackets history in the inaugural game on October 7, 2000.
Gardiner was not signed by the Jackets after the inaugural season. On October 21, 2001 he was signed by the New Jersey Devils and played most of the 2001-02 season in the minors. In the 3 season that followed Gardiner played in Russia, Finland, and the UHL.
Gardiner joined the Barrie Police Department after retiring in 2003.
Although the Blue Jackets claimed Barrie Moore they did not sign him. He played a few games in the IHL for the Manitoba Moose before signing with the Manchester Storm in Britain. Before the start of the 2001-02 season, Moore came back to North America and began playing for the Portland Pirates. He would then be sent down to the ECHL to play for the Columbia Inferno until the end of the 2003-04 season.
Moore’s final season of hockey would be played in the 2004-05 season with the Missouri River Otters of the UHL.
Forward, Martin Streit continued to play in the Czech Republic until his retirement in 2003.
Kevin Dineen (Right Wing) was selected from the Ottawa Senators and played with the Blue Jackets until his retirement during the 2002-03 season.
Dineen couldn’t stay away from hockey long and in 2005 began to coach. From 2005-2011 Dineen was the Head Coach of the Portland Pirates. Dineen didn’t return to the Pirates after the 2010-11 season because the Florida Panthers made him the Head Coach of their team. After coaching the Panthers, Dineen went on to be the Head Coach for the Canadian Women’s team. He lead them to their 4th consecutive gold medal in the 2014 Olympics held in Sochi, Russia. Canada’s gold medal win caught the eye of the Chicago Blackhawks. Starting the 2014-15 season Dineen began coaching the Blackhawks as an assistant.
Jeff Williams was selected from the New Jersey Devils and was directly shoved into the minors. After not seeing a light at the end of the minors tunnel, Williams left for Europe in 2001. Things never really panned out for Williams and he retired in 2005.
After the Blue Jackets selected Sergei Luchinkin from the Dallas Stars he opted to continue to play in Russia. Luchinkin stayed there until his retirement in 2012.
Ted Drury played one game with the Columbus Blue Jackets. After the 2001-02 season, he decided to play in Germany (DEL). Drury played in the DEL until his retirement in 2007.
Drury was listed as one of the 22 Best Hockey Players in Finance by Business Australia Insider in 2013.