Due to some tweets from Aaron Portzline, twitter has been buzzing once again about Vinny Prospal returning to the Blue Jackets. With the Jackets season in an early tail spin it seems fans are grasping at straws for any shakeup that can improve the lineup.
Prospal camp has stayed in touch w #CBJ, but no offers made. Yet. Told Prospal would definitely sign w CBJ again, even take low-ball offer.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) November 8, 2013
While I feel Prospal played an important role in last season’s March / April surge, I do not think he would have the same effect this season. Those who want Vinny back make their case based upon his leadership qualities. While I do agree he would be a good veteran presence in the room, there are already players on this roster filling that role. This team is not going to pick up a veteran FA and make him captain. They are looking for leadership to develop from within the locker room. In addition, Prospal has been out of the loop in regards to the Jackets and the front office has shown they are not factoring him into their future plans.
With a franchise that has struggled as much as the CBJ, it is natural for fans to hit the panic button early. Fans have good reason to worry about the Jackets performance this season. However, the band aid is going to have to come from within; Vinny Prospal is not going turn this team around. The offense is struggling, but we must remember that Matt Calvert is injured, Nick Foligno is out for personal reasons, and Nathan Horton hasn’t even suited up yet. It is no excuse for the poor play, but it is also not a reason to blow up the lineup or start signing veteran free agents. That is not going to spark this team to perform.
Another issue that is ignored in the calls for Prospal, is the defense. While the offense has not been scoring, the Jackets defense has been even worse. I don’t see how Vinny helps the Jackets protect the puck in their own zone. Vinny Prospal doesn’t stop Marc Letestu from putting the puck in his own net.
I was a huge fan of Prospal last season, and I believe he was a key part of last years team. But those days are over and it is time for the team and for Jackets fans to move on. So can we please stop with the Vinny Prospal rumors?