Friday was another great day for not only the Columbus Blue Jackets, but its fans and the city of Columbus.
In fact, it was another great day in what has been many great days for the franchise and its fans over the last year.
Of course, that did not stop random twitter trolls and so-called “experts” from having their fun at our team’s expense once again.
It is time for us, as a fanbase, to tune out the trolls and haters and look forward to a bright future.
Those of us lucky enough to root for the Jackets since day one and live in Ohio know how great central Ohio is, and how wonderful the Jackets’ franchise and facilities are.
Those factors have not always meant victories on the ice, but that started to change in the last year.
John Davidson takes over as president of hockey operations, giving the front office a commanding presence and overwhelming respect.
Davidson brought in well-respected Jarmo Kekalainen to be the general manager, a move that was applauded across the league.
The team goes on an improbable run led by a Vezina Trophy winning goalie and a hard-to-play against attitude from the whole team.
Facing the possibility of losing that goalie, Davidson and Kekalainen step up and get the deal done with Sergei Bobrovsky.
Which brings us to Friday. Nathan Horton could have gone anywhere. He could have decided not to go anywhere at all.
He chose Columbus.
Yes, there are concerns. We discussed them on Friday: concussion history, shoulder injury, seven-year term.
However, Horton was arguably the most sought after free agent of this unrestricted free agent class, and he chose Columbus.
He chose the franchise, his teammates, and central Ohio itself.
Of course, as is the case with everything Columbus does, the trolls and haters emerged from their parents’ basement and made all the tired, stale Columbus jokes.
It does not take much brain power to talk about the lack of success Columbus has had on the ice since the team’s inception.
Wow, way to be original. Did you come up with that all by yourself?
Even Davidson had finally heard enough, ripping into reports out of Canada that Horton was headed out into the woods by going to Columbus.
People who make ignorant comments like that have never been to central Ohio. They have no idea what the city and its suburbs have to offer.
The mouth-breather who uttered such stupidity this time was Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons, according to Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch.
“Now is that ignorance or what? That’s just ignorance,” Davidson told Hunter in Sunday’s Dispatch. “I think it shows ignorance of what a great city this is. This is a good city. And it (ticks) me off. You can say things about me. You can say things about the players on the team if we’re not playing well, but when you come after the city, I’m not going to stand for it. I’ll come back at you like a freight train.”
Enough is enough.
It’s time to tune them out. They’re as out of touch with reality as Doug MacLean.
Once healthy, Horton’s signing gives Columbus the scoring they so desperately needed. Combined with everything else this organization has done so far in the offseason, the Jackets are in a great position to make a playoff run in 2013-2014.
So let the trolls have their fun. It’s probably all they have in their otherwise meaningless lives.
The problem with listening to the trolls is that you miss genuine compliments. On TSN’s draft coverage Friday, their main desk was gushing with praise about what Columbus was building.
That praise continued Saturday. The Hockey News’ Adam Proteau sent this tweet:
Teams I think have had the best off-season (incl. draft, trades & free agency) so far: 1. Stars 2. Wings 3. Blue Jackets 4. Preds 5. Oilers
— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) July 6, 2013
It is time to focus on the positive. While there are a lot of good people on Twitter, there is a lot of hate and ignorance as well. Everyone is a tough guy or gal when they are anonymously sitting behind a keyboard.
Let those people be. In fact, I pity them. Because their negativity will be all they have when they watch Columbus in the playoffs next season.