I’m from Cleveland by way of New Jersey. So with that pedigree I can’t help but take a somewhat cynical look at things. Take the 5 CBJ players named to Olympic rosters; while it is great to see them acknowledged among the best of their respective countries, I also am concerned what ramifications the Olympic tournament will have on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Olympic gold for Russia does very little to brighten my spirits if it costs the Jackets a playoff run. With that here are my Pros and Cons to Artem Anisimov, Sergei Bobrovsky, Nikita Nikitin, Fedor Tyutin, and Marian Gaborik being named to Olympic rosters.
- It flat out sucked to see that there are no Blue Jackets players on either Team USA or Team Canada (I guess some will be still cheering for Rick Nash, but that is still an open wound and I cannot get excited by a former Blue Jacket in the Olympics). At the start of the season, Jack Johnson was a consensus pick for Team USA, but we all know how that turned out. So while it is Team Russia, it is a relief to see the Blue Jackets play such a huge role in the makeup of one team. It is a positive sign that someone sees some value in Blue Jackets players. While I’m not about to start waving a Russian flag, I can only wish the best to the four CBJ players who made that squad.
- Barring any setbacks with his collar bone injury, Marian Gaborik will be the lone CBJ representative to the Slovakian olympic hockey team. Gaborik’s performance has been disappointing so far this season for the Jackets, so maybe some time representing his home country will jump start his game. At the very least, a good performance in Sochi could raise his trade value come deadline time.
- That’s five players who will be spending the month of February playing highly competitive hockey, rather than sitting on a beach somewhere warm. Well the break from hockey would be welcome to five players who are probably a little worn out at this point, they will stay in “game shape” and will not have to shake off any rust when games resume after the Olympic break.
- Injuries, injuries, injuries. Five core players are now taking part in the Olympics. That means every Blue Jackets fans will be crossing their fingers that no one gets hurt during the tournament. Sergei Bobrovsky is coming off a month long stint on the IR due to a groin injury. Marian Gaborik is still healing up from a broken collar bone. All of the other players have had their share of bumps and bruises in the past few months. Instead of resting up and healing, they will be putting everything on the line for Olympic gold.
- There is always the risk that all five players will return from the Olympic break worn out and tired, instead of recharged and ready for a playoff run.
- While I am sure Sergei Bobrovsky can adjust quickly, there are always concerns about going from an NHL sized rink to an international rink and then back again. When Bobrovsky comes back from the Olympics, will there be a readjustment period? In addition, during the Olympics, goalies are allowed to use their larger pads that the NHL recently shrank down. While I do not know if Bobrovsky will go back to his larger equipment (reports are Henrik Lundqvist will) there would be some adjustment needed when Bobrovsky returns.