Over the past few weeks there has been much sniping in the Blue Jacket community, people have been getting testy with each other. Normally level headed bloggers and twitterers (tweeters?) have been showing a major league case of cabin fever. Despite the relatively mild winter here in central Ohio we are in the doldrums of a world class bad hockey season, at least for Jackets fans.
Local media have tried to join the fun, only to find they have offended some and amused others. Count me in the offended or at least not amused group. This has led to twitter blockings. Covering your ears and shouting when your intended audience talks back is not always the best strategy for better sales or ratings, but whatever floats their cracker.
A local group of 250-ish fans took to the sidewalk to protest team management during All-Star weekend. The team countered with announcing the 2013 All-Star game would be in Columbus. Some of the organizers of the protest argue they are at least partly responsible for the All-Star game or its announcement. Really that day happened to be a slow news day in Columbus and in the hockey world, the skills competition that night being the only activity, which is why both the protest and announcement were independently chosen to take place on that day. But still people are grumpy over the darn thing.
Beyond that we have Jeff Carter rumors or Rick Nash rumors, take your pick, a clock problem in L.A., and a team that can’t seem to get out if its own way. Everybody is waiting for the other shoe to drop. The only person who is even the slightest bit relaxed is Todd Richards; nobody fires the interim head coach. A roster overhaul is coming and everybody knows they are fair game. The team would even move Nash, something inconceivable in the past, granted it would have to be a Herschel Walker type deal. Jeff Carter, does he go? What does the team get for him? Mason? Hope he likes buses, because his time in the NHL is going to come to end, for a few years at least. I feel for him, he is young and talented, but so obviously needs to get back to the AHL and work on his game for a year or two. I think we see him back in the NHL at some point and I wish him well.
The front office from top to bottom has to be walking on eggshells too. At least on the hockey side. Non-hockey operations this year has been fantastic. But every coach, scout, assistant, GM, VP, and President has to be wondering what is coming. No matter what has been said publicly or privately, the owner can walk in tomorrow morning and clean house.
Wasn’t all of this supposed to be fun? Even my kid is frustrated with loses. Even last year it seemed we could still enjoy the moments, if not the whole.
So, I am done with all of that. Block me on twitter, protest, worry about cap implications and NTC’s. I am ignoring all of that for the rest of the season. To be sure, I will pay attention to and comment on roster moves as the trade deadline approaches. But I will not focus on what a failure a departed player is or what we could have gotten in a deal. I will focus on what the newest member of the CBJ family can contribute, on what good will come of the deal. I believe that there is much to be positive about. The CBJ fan community is second to none in the league, what it may lack in breadth it makes up for in depth. The team has fixed the flawed financial structure that may have led to its departure; the Jackets will be the Columbus Blue Jackets for a long time to come. The system is packed with young talent that will be coming of age in the next few years. These are the things I will focus on until April.