Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Top 5 Players to Wear #25 With the Columbus Blue Jackets

Image courtesy of SportsLogos.net

Image courtesy of SportsLogos.net

With tomorrow being Christmas Day, I thought it would be the perfect time to do a special Columbus Blue Jackets Top 5 list. With the holiday falling on December 25th, this will be a Top 5 list of players who have worn the number 25 with the Blue Jackets. Coincidentally, there have only been five players to wear the number with Columbus, so I had some of my work cut out for me. All of the stats and information used for this post are courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com . With that, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Players to wear #25 for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

5. Kyle Wilson

I vaguely remember Kyle Wilson’s lone season with the Blue Jackets, 32 games played in the 2010-11 season. Wilson was selected in the 9th round of the 2004 draft by the Minnesota Wild. He made his NHL debut during the 2009-10 season with the Washington Capitals, and in two games he tallied two assists. In the offseason Wilson signed a one year contract with Columbus. In his 32 games with Columbus during the 2010-11 season, Wilson had 11 pts ( 4G, 7A). That same season he also played in 23 games for the Springfield Falcons. He finished with 12 goals and 12 assists in the AHL. The following season Wilson signed a contract with Nashville.

4. Ryan Russell

Russell was drafted by the New York Rangers in the 7th round of the 2005 NHL draft and continued to play in the WHL with the Kootenay Ice. After the Rangers were unable to come to contract terms with him, Russell was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 2007, where he signed a 3 year contract. After splitting time between the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Cincinnati Cyclones, Russell was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011 for Michael Blunden. He played 41 games for the Blue Jackets and scored 2 goals. He also played in 31 games for the Springfield Falcons that season and tallied 9 goals and 6 assists. Last season he suited up in 62 games for the Falcons and scored 10 goals and 6 assists. As a free agent this past Summer, Russell signed a contract with Leksands IF of the Swedish Hockey League.

3. Bruce Gardiner

Gardiner was selected by the St. Louis Blue in the 6th round of the 1991 NHL draft. He made his NHL debut with the Ottawa Senators in 1997. Gardiner was a member of the Blue Jackets during their inaugural season and scored the first goal in Blue Jackets franchise history. He finished his lone season in Columbus with 7 goals and 15 assists. After playing one more season in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, Gardiner played in the Russian Super League, Finland’s SM-liiga, and finally the UHL.

2. Andrew Cassels 

Cassels was selected 17th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1987 NHL draft. After spending three seasons in the OHL, Cassels made his debut for Montreal in 1989, scoring his first NHL goal on his first shot and his first shift. He was then traded to the Hartford Whalers in 1991, where he would find his most success. He was traded to the Calgary Flames during Hartford’s final season in the NHL. In 1999, as a free agent, he signed a 3 year contract with the Vancouver Canucks and when that contract expired, he signed a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002. In Columbus, he was reunited with former Hartford linemate, Geoff Sanderson, which lead to both players having their biggest season since their time in Hartford. Cassels finished his first season with Columbus with 20 goals and 48 assists, his highest points total since 1996. The 2003-04 season was plagued by injuries for Cassels, and he only appeared in 58 games for the Blue Jackets. He finished with 6 goals and 20 assists, his lowest points total since 1990. He would play one more season with the Washington Capitals before retiring from the NHL.

1. Jason Chimera

Chimera was longest tenured #25 to suit up for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was selected in the 5th round of the 1997 NHL draft by the Edmonton Oilers. Chimera played three seasons for the Hamilton Bulldogs before being called up to Edmonton. Chimera lasted two seasons in Edmonton before being dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes for draft picks. He played in Italy during the 2004-05 lockout and was then dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets the following season, having never played a single game for Phoenix. In his first season with Columbus, Chimera had 17 goals and 13 assists in 80 games played. His best season for Columbus was 2006-07, where he scored 15 goals, and 21 assists (36 pts). Chimera played three more season in Columbus until he was traded to the Washington Capitals during the 2009-10 season, where he remains to this day. In his four and a half seasons with Columbus, Chimera finished with 136 points.

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets

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