Jan 29, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski (21) against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blue Jackets 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets’ James Wisniewski’s Struggles


Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Is James Wisniewski overrated?

Phew! Been meaning to ask that question for a while now, just had to admit the possibility to myself. We always look to him as a stud, as a top 2 or 3 blue liner, but is that really the case? So far this season, (6 games), he has looked…underwhelming. I’m not yelling “trade!” yet, (well, there’s this voice in my head that is, but I don’t let him write the articles), but we shouldn’t just give him a free pass.

There’s time given for the knocking off of rust. But how much rust does this guy have? His skating looks amateur-ish, and his decision making is that of a rookie overwhelmed with the speed of the game. At least once a contest he makes a critical mistake that results in a grade-A gift wrap to the opponent. That simply can not happen. Not for someone who’s getting paid like him.

This isn’t a panic article. It’s not even necessarily a concern article. Is James Wisnewski overrated? Okay, maybe a little. But he’s one hell of a player. He has one of the most lethal slap shots in the league, and he can score with it. But this article is simply existing to say one thing: get it together, Wiz!

One power play goal a month doesn’t outshine six bad decisions a game. If his poor play continues, I say Coach Richards makes a statement by making him a healthy scratch. But honestly, Coach Richards shouldn’t have to even deal with that. If we had a captain, that would be his job. Someone needs to tell this veteran to get it together.

Wisniewski always seems to start slow, I understand that. I’ve watched him for the last few years. Every season he makes me question him, and by the end of the season, I feel silly I did. So why am I writing this article if I know the trend of his game? Because it’s not good enough.

The Columbus Blue Jackets of hockey season past is long gone. They are a new team, forging forward. Slow starts are common and will occur. But after awhile, we must say “enough is enough.” Someone has to hold these players, like Wisniewski, accountable, before the season gets away. If not you, who? If not now, when?

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