The Columbus Blue Jackets announced this offseason, just over a month or so ago, that Dalton Prout would undergo abdominal surgery. At the time it was said that Prout would miss training camp and preseason, and it seemed as if he could be ready by opening night but it seemed questionable. Seems that question has been answered as Prout saw almost twenty minutes of ice time against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
Now there is a bigger questions to be answered, and I suppose it is not a bad questions to have. Who is going to make the opening night roster on defense? It is great to have options available, as long as it doesn’t hold someone back, like say Ryan Murray. Right now there are eleven defenseman on the training camp/preseason roster, they include Nikitin, Johnson, Erixon, Wisniewski, Murray, Melart, Prout, Goloubef, Savard, Weber, and Tyutin. Your guess is as good as mine as to who will make the final roster for opening night and the start of the regular season. Obviously front office and Coach Todd Richards have quite a debacle as to what they are going to do with the defense. Like I mentioned though, it isn’t exactly a bad situation to be in.
I seem to flip flop back and forth about Ryan Murray and where to place him. When I am not watching him play I think it is a good idea to put him in the AHL, but when I see him out on the ice in union blue I think he is a perfect fit and can become an NHL star in no time. I guess it is a good thing that I am not part of the team who has to make the decision. He really seems to be the only question mark in my book, as I see Melart, Goloubef, Savard, and Weber all being sent to Springfield. Each one of those players could be called up in a pinch, and or be the seventh d-man who is not dressed.
I am sure that JD, Jarmo, and Richards have been conversing all offseason about this situation and already have a plan in place by now. It is probably being left out of the public’s eyes until the start of the regular season. Players can always be moved back and forth from the AHL to the NHL so the roster can always change throughout the season if someone seems to be under performing, or maybe we will see a trade made early on in the season, possibly a veteran being moved, or prospects. Since Jarmo and JD have taken over the rebuild, I couldn’t guess as to what will happen, and it is certainly no different now.