Nov 20, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) and Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Butler (44) battle for the puck during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Columbus Blue Jackets won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

CBJ FANsided Friday: Kevin Young!

Welcome to this edition of CBJ FANSided Friday! In this series we will post a short interview with a fan from the Blue Jackets community and ask them about their Jackets fandom.  We interviewed Kevin Young, a Blue Jackets fan from Calgary, Alberta, Canada! 

An interesting tidbit of information…back in 2007 when he first joined Facebook, he couldn’t help but notice there was no CBJ presence. Other NHL teams had pages, but at that time the Jackets didn’t. So he took it upon himself to create the first ever Columbus Blue Jackets Facebook page. So a guy from Calgary gave the Jackets their first Facebook presence! Awhile after, he got a message from Facebook saying that the real CBJ had claimed ownership of it (which was fine by him, after all they ARE the Jackets!) so there’s a good chance that the CBJ fan page that exists now is in some form an offshoot of what he started all those years ago!

U&B: When did you first become a Blue Jackets fan, and what drew you towards the team?

Kevin: Having grown up and lived in Calgary, Alberta, Canada my entire life, I’ve always had hockey as part of my life. However during the 1990’s and early 2000’s I had sort of stopped following the NHL for awhile, only getting back into it during the 2003-04 season when the hometown Flames made their playoff run to the Stanley Cup Finals. After the lockout of 2004-05, I remember going to games again and watching highlights on the NHL Network and I think that was the first time I heard of this team called the Columbus Blue Jackets. I remember thinking “What kind of a name for a team is Blue Jackets??” (remember, I’m from Canada so the US Civil War wasn’t really top knowledge for me!). I would see highlights of the team on the NHL Network and there was something about the team that drew me to them.

Maybe it was the fact everyone always thought of them as an underdog team, but they struck a chord with me and I began watching the highlights just to see how the team did that night, etc. I soon found myself really interested in the team and it’s players and before I knew it, I was a Jacket addict! It wasn’t until 2007 though that I finally got to my first game at Nationwide Arena (my ex and I drove all the way from Calgary to Columbus for that game) and ever since that first night at Nationwide, I make sure to get back to Columbus at least once a year for a game! I always make sure to get NHL Center Ice as part of my TV package every year for the purpose of watching the CBJ games! I love being able to watch the games live and not have to rely on the highlights!

U&B: Who is your favorite Blue Jackets player on the current roster?

Kevin: Wow, this one’s a hard question. Every player on the team contributes every night and it’s really hard to pick just one! But since I have to, I would have to say Sergei Bobrovsky. The man is a brick wall when he’s in net and he gives the team a chance to win every night with his stellar goaltending!

U&B: If you could choose the teams next captain right now, who would it be?

Kevin: I think Nathan Horton would be a great choice for captain of this team. From the moment he came back from injury and made his CBJ debut, he has made a major impact on this team. His enthusiasm and energy seems to be contagious.
U&B: Who is your favorite team to see the Jackets beat, and why?
Kevin: Well, a CBJ victory is great no matter what team they are playing! But I would have to say the Detroit Red Wings. And not just because of the Ohio/Michigan rivalry that I know is so prevalent, but also because in a lot of media (at least the sports radio etc that I hear up in Calgary), they always talk about how “amazing” the Wings are, etc etc. So it’s always nice when my boys can go out there and take them down a notch or two with a victory!

U&B: How do you feel about the start to the season/where do you think the CBJ will finish this year?

Kevin: The start to the season was a little scary! I think everyone expected them to come out and continue the insane play and winning ways that got them so close the playoffs last year. But when that didn’t happen, it really rattled the fans a little bit. The last thing they wanted was a return to the “on again, off again CBJ”. The injuries that plagued the team was also a major factor in the Jackets start. But as the injury sheet shrank, and once Horton made his debut, the team just suddenly seemed to lock into that groove and the next thing we knew, we had a huge winning streak and simply flew up the standings! As we go into the home stretch of the season, I think that the Jackets will continue their amazing play and we will see them finish in a playoff position…and I want to make the bold prediction that not only will we get into the playoffs this year, but Columbus will experience their first ever Playoff round victory as we will make it to at least the second round!
As I said earlier, I go to Nationwide Arena every year for a game or two and this year is no exception! I will be at the CBJ vs. Phoenix Coyotes game on April 8! It will be one of my many stops on an NHL Road Trip I’m embarking on. The tour will take me to 15 games in 14 cities between March 22 and April 11. If you want to follow my trip, feel free to follow me on Twitter @NHLRoadTrip2014 …and of course, if you are a Jackets fan that hasn’t done so yet already, feel free to follow me @JacketAddicts 
A huge thank you to Kevin for the great interview!  Check back next week for another fan interview; it could be you! 

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