The Weekly Reader Vol. 12: Offseason News and Notes


Looking East

Could the Blue Jackets actually be bound for the Eastern Conference?  In an article in the Toronto Sun on Wednesday, the most promising news to-date for this move was announced.  Commissioner Gary Bettman has issued a proposal to the NHL’s board of governors outlining some major changes to the league, including a re-alignment which would send Columbus into the East.  Under the proposal, there would be four divisions — Pacific, Midwest, East, and South — while still preserving the east vs. west format in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  To highlight the news, the Sun ran a picture of Gary Bettman seemingly having just been poked in the eye:

This would be great news for the Blue Jackets, who are geographically the eastern-most Western Conference team, and have endured more than their fair share of grueling road trips from the Rockies to western Canada to the west coast.  It would be nice for the team to be able to return home to Columbus more frequently in between road games, and can you imagine if it didn’t have to keep you up until 2:00am to watch those inevitable shootout losses out west?  I mean really, people; it’s unnatural to be awake at the time when Versus is typically airing bull riding or bass fishing…and on a school night?!

The other thing fans of the Jackets’ move point to is the team’s recent success against teams from the East.  The CBJ went 12-4-2 against the Eastern Conference last season, and have had what — based on my inclination and a total lack of research — seems to have been good success in years past as well.  The one catch, however, is that Bettman’s proposal would send Detroit to the East with the Blue Jackets….and let’s just say the Jackets’ record against the Wings is quite as spectacular.  The teams moving together does, however, preserve the natural rivalry (which I don’t believe Detroit has been informed of…) and provide CBJ fans with a wealth of opportunities to spew hatred and f-bombs for many seasons to come.


Amidst  talks of this weekend’s NHL entry draft and a combination fire-sale / spending binge coming for the Blue Jackets by July, I read this week what I believe to be one of the more bizarre stories this off-season:  CBJ General Manager Scott Howson has joined the ranks of Twitter.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the thoughts of the only man more boring than Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s are now available real-time and at your fingertips here at Howson’s Twitter feed.  As of the publication of this article, Howson had two Tweets…which I fell alseep reading.  The jist was something like, “Yes, I’m alive; and yes, I have a telephone in my office.”

But this revelation of Howson talking to the Tworld got me thinking about some things I’d really like to see Scottie Tweet about.  Imagine seeing these gems flying out of his Twitter account…

“Taking a Delorean ride back to 2003 to draft Ryan Kesler instead of Nikolai Zherdev.”  #gobucks  #fluxcapacitor

“Holy sh!t, the NHL rule book says you ARE allowed to put a Center on your top forward line!”  #sorryrick #mybaddude

“Just took a wicked #upperdecker at Bettman’s office!  #iblamedhitchcock  LOL”

Stay Tuned for the Draft

Be sure to check back at Fire That Cannon over the next few days as the Blue Jackets enter what promises to be an interesting NHL draft.  All indications are that their first-round pick, number eight overall — which would’ve otherwise been wasted on an un-talented young Russian forward — is for sale to the highest bidder.  The Jackets’ roster may be changing drastically in the very near future….hold onto your hats, Columbus.  It may be tough to see some guys go whom we’ve followed for several seasons, but it’s also very well time.  I doubt even a warm and fuzzy PR presence on Twitter will save @GMScottHowson’s job if he sits on his hands through another off-season.