There Is No “Easy Button” For Blue Jackets

The angst for fans has been trucked in to Nationwide Blvd.

Columbus, OH

     At the halfway point of the season, the angst in Columbus is palpable. Just in the last few days it was revealed that Mike Commodore requested a trade out of Columbus and that a “big” trade was in the works. I won’t rehash that, as my colleague Jeff Little has penned a couple of excellent articles on that subject. You can read those here.

     Reason and logic seems to escape the fanbase of the Columbus Blue Jackets, as the rumors that are swirling have fueled their collective fires in anticipation of something BIG.

     It’s extremely difficult to make a big, impact trade during the off-season, let alone in the middle of a season. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but it’s highly unlikely. The rumors have flowed like water over Niagara Falls. What everyone seems to forget at times like this, is that it takes time to put it all together.

     In trying to track down some of these rumors, Mike Colligan in Pittsburgh, said the following about the Blue Jackets. “It takes multiple years to remake a team once a new coach with a new system comes in.  If that means missing the playoffs for a year or two then so be it.  There’s some good young kids there and the worst thing they could do is blow it up and panic.  I’m sure preaching patience is easier said than done with that fanbase, though.” Once again, that’s not what the fan base in Columbus wants to hear. But, that is the reality of life in the NHL under the salary cap system. Educating oneself is a wonderful thing.

     Ten years into the life of the franchise, and the fans want to blow up the club seemingly every year. Ten years is but a small amount of time. How would the fans in Columbus like to trade places with the Toronto Maple Leafs fans? They haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, the longest active Cup drought in the NHL. Here, I’ll do the math for you. That’s 43 years. 43 years! It’s just a bit longer than the 10 years the Columbus fans have endured, eh?

     Instant gratification is well nigh impossible in todays’ NHL. Although, talking with fans, I get the distinct impression that even if the Blue Jackets win the Stanley Cup, it won’t be enough. They could take the Cup Finals series to seven games and come out the other side victorious, yet I know that there are fans that will say they should have won it in 4 games. That is the collective mindset of the fanbase in central Ohio.

     Granted, this is a club that seems to have lost it’s way. That’s on the players. Head coach Scott Arniel has to be ready to pull his hair out with the bi-polar nature of this club. Might he be second-guessing his decision to accept the coaching position? At this point, I don’t think so. Columbus GM Scott Howson is doing what he can to give Arniel the pieces he needs. No one is privy to what Howson is doing on an hourly or daily basis. It’s not as easy as saying you want to make a trade. You need a dance partner, and it has to be tough for Howson to sell a fair trade package to a prospective partner with the state of the team right now. That doesn’t mean he’s not trying; he is.

     I do think that a trade will be announced in the next few days. But, it won’t be the “blockbuster” that all would seem to think will happen. While speculating is fun, I don’t want to start or perpetuate any more rumors. What I will say is that I think it will involve Kyle Wilson, Mike Commodore and a mid-lineup roster player going east. That is just a hunch and not based on anything concrete that I’ve heard. The important fact to remember is that Scott Howson will most likely have to overpay to get this deal done.

     Forewarned is forearmed. The roster will not be gutted, of that I’m sure. Many fans will not be happy. Of that, I’m sure also. But, Scott Howson will do the best he can to make this team stronger. And of that, I’m very sure.

6 thoughts on “There Is No “Easy Button” For Blue Jackets”

  1. The other posts reflect what the Jackets fans are looking for; a team that competes at NHL level of play, game in game out. The lost opportunities over the years of acquiring talent through the draft weigh on the fan base too. We see the Preds and Avs ability to add talent while our additions don’t add up to much. This team has been looking for help on the blue line for 10 years and hasn’t found anyone yet. We have 2 goalies that can’t seem to carry over a good performance one night to the next. I’d like to see them prune the Europeans off this team. If you don’t want to hit or fight the way north American style hockey demands, you don’t need to be in the NHL. No more cast-offs like Clark and Moreau.

  2. Yes, I expect the team to win one playoff game….

    Then, as a fan, I’d expect them to try and build on that the next season….

    Someone brought up Nashville, and you couldn’t ask for a better example, Nashville has an identity, they build for that identity, they coach that identity and they make the playoffs with that identity and they routinely do more with less.

    Unrealistic expectations?!? Have you WATCHED this team? I’m guessing no, because you would see that lack of competitiveness from their young guys AND there supposed core veterans.

    Glen Sather just made a move to shore up his forwards, only about a day or two after Frolov went down for the season. Why can’t Scott Howson do this?!

    Stop blaming it on the fans. This article would be more well received had you just come out and said that the “No Easy” button for the jackets is that nobody wants the crap that scott howson would try to move off this roster.

  3. Truth be told, playoffs would be very nice, but right now I just want to see some effort, just NHL level of play. I see a disorganized hockey club two steps behind the play more often than not. We can’t even get the puck into the zone on a power play much less score. Just compete, Jackets, that’s all I want.

  4. I am not sure even where to begin with this article. First of, it is NEVER the fans fault for any situation.

    Secondly, did you really compare Columbus to Toronto? Wow. Toronto is an Original Six team who has won the Cup before. Columbus has never won anything.

    It is not unreasonable for Jackets fans to become a little tired of the same old crap that this mickey mouse organization spits out every year. Nashville does MORE, with LESS, every single year!!!!! Im tired of all the CBJ excuses. Enough is enough. Quit apologizing for them.

    To state that “Ten years into the life of the franchise, and the fans want to blow up the club seemingly every year” is bogus. First off, no one was wanting to blow it up the first 4 years. In fact, there was a packed house at Nationwide most nights or the fans were content because they were just happy to have a team. Additionally, you dont think 10 years is enough time to make a franchise worth a damn??? Come on, Jackets are the laughing stock of the NHL.

    Earlier in the year, you said yourself that “Chicago blew up the team starting soon after winning the Stanley Cup. Detroit is getting quite old” and this team “needed a season like last year to get their minds straight.” So it sounds like the fans have a right to expect a little bit more, Hell, even you were expecting more yourself!!!! And now you want to turn around and blame the fans for having too high of expectations!? Get real!!!!

  5. This is a completely ignorant, misinformed article, written with no real facts or credibility. So you talked to a couple fans, huh? By that I’m assuming you mean stole a couple quotes from message boards.

    I’m in total agreement with Ben: The Jackets could WIN ONE PLAYOFF GAME, and the fans would be happy. Is it too much to ask to field a competitive team every year? Hell, I’ll even take every OTHER year. The fact of the matter is, the Jackets have shown little to no improvement since their playoff “run” a couple years ago, and they show little to no heart on the ice most nights.

    Every other Jackets fan I’ve talked to (and I have talked to many, since I actually live in Columbus, and all) feel the same way. People are not buying season tickets anymore not because we haven’t won a Cup…it’s because we are an AHL team wearing NHL uniforms. It’s because we have talent as individuals, but we are inept as a team. It’s because everyone within the organization promises us things will get better, but does absolutely nothing to steer us in that direction, as if assuming things are just off course and will correct themselves. Then, I guess through it all, they expect people to keep plunking down thousands of dollars for season tickets.

    Toronto’s scenario is different. They were at least once an established team. Columbus has accomplished pretty much nothing its entire existence, and doesn’t look to accomplish anything in the near future. This isn’t a “rebuilding” phase to the fans, because the Jackets never built anything to begin with.

  6. Comparing our frustration to that of Toronto because they have not won the Stanley Cup in 43 years is not fitting at all.

    We are not frustrated because we haven’t won the Cup in 10 years, we are frustrated because WE HAVEN’T WON A SINGLE PLAYOFF GAME IN TEN YEARS!

    Your comments that our fan base won’t be happy unless we win the Cup in 4 games is absolute nonsense. We just want to be able to enjoy a season with the knowledge that we could have a viable post-season, that way we can at least have hope during the regular season. People were ecstatic when we made the playoffs for the first (and only) time in ’08-’09. If we had that, we would be satisfied for now. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

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