CBJ Off-Season Report Card


With the preseason starting in just 5 days, it seems like the roster for the 2014-2015 season is set and ready to go. Well, for the most part. It is true that the Johansen saga has drug on and on and seems to be a dark cloud looming over rays of optimism in the Blue Jacket fanbase, but should it be? The Jackets offseason has been relatively quiet. There wasn’t a big name signing like last year with Nathan Horton. So the question is raised, did Columbus have a successful offseason?

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Key Additions

  • Scott Hartnell – Trading away RJ Umberger was tough on many Jacket fans.  RJ had been in Columbus since 2008, as well as being a former Buckeye. It was hard, until seeing what we got in return. Scott Hartnell is a 6’2″ 215 lb wrecking ball. He fits in with the gritty nature established in Columbus, and will no doubt quickly become a fan favorite. He had 20 Goals and 32 Assists with the Flyers last season. Having Hartnell on a line with Nathan Horton and Ryan Johansen certainly gives Columbus faithful goosebumps. His instigator side will get the fans riled up for another playoff run. Overall, good move for the Jackets

Apr 13, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell (19) talks to linesman Pierre Racicot (65) and referee Paul Devorski (10) after being ejected from the game against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Hurricanes won 6-5 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry D’Amigo – The Jackets swapped a one-for-one with the Toronto Maple Leafs when they traded Matt Frattin for Jerry D’Amigo. On a team with a lot of young talent on the forward lines, it was a fair trade sending Frattin away. . While D’Amigo has only played 22 games in his NHL career. He has shown potential in the AHL, racking up 40 points in 70 games for the Toronto Marlies in 2012-2013. D’Amigo will add depth to an already impressive forward core.

Key Subtractions

  • RJ Umberger – As stated above, RJ became a fixture in Columbus. A fan favorite, it was hard to depart with Umby. As the team got younger and younger, we saw Umberger’s time on the ice decrease more and more. Eventually RJ became disgruntled with his role on the team, and both sides agreed that a move was necessary. His best season in the Union Blue came in 2010-2011 when he tallied 57 points playing in all 82 games.  Umberger will be missed, but the Jackets are moving on with the young talent they have now.

Apr 19, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing R.J. Umberger (18) handles the puck against pressure from Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Blue Jackets won 4-3 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Overall Grade

I give the Jackets quiet offseason an overall grade of a B. While adding a key player in Scott Hartnell, they were relatively quiet on the free agent front. It all depends on whether or not the Ryan Johansen deal gets done in time for the regular season. If they can manage to pull that off, the grade could move up to an A- or an A, but for now, the Jackets walk away better than they were last year, and with a solid B.