Mark Letestu Set To Return For The Columbus Blue Jackets


Recently the injuries haven’t been happening as often as earlier in the season, but it seems once the Columbus Blue Jackets get a player back from IR, another takes their place. Per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Mark Letestu is set to travel with the Blue Jackets on their upcoming four game road trip. Coach Todd Richards hinted that he would make a return against the Toronto Maple Leafs, putting him ten days away from a possible return.

As is the case, we get that great piece of news and then we also find out Cam Atkinson will be placed on IR retroactively back to December 27th. The earliest Atkinson can return will be on January 4th, but Blue Jackets made this move to free up a roster spot for Sean Collins who was recalled from Springfield yesterday.

Mark Letestu will be a welcome sight back on the ice. He had abdominal surgery in early December after already missing over a month of time trying to recoup, and has only played in five games this season, his last coming on October 28th against the Ottawa Senators. Letestu is likely to have some rust coming back, however he is a veteran presence and another piece of the puzzle that will be contributing to this team. He will probably start back on the fourth line giving them a much-needed scoring presence that has been lacking from the energy line early this season.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets will still have four starters on IR when Letestu makes his 2015 debut, unless Cam Atkinson is back by then. With Artem Anisimov, Boone Jenner and Ryan Murray still on IR, hopefully Letestu can shake off the rust sooner rather than later. Jenner is still set to be out 3-7 more weeks, Anisimov is still 1-2 months away, while it seems Ryan Murray may never play again (I am only kidding a little about Murray), as he has only played in four games this year and has been riddled with injuries since being drafted number two overall by the Blue Jackets in 2012.

These injuries have led to the Blue Jackets being a perpetual cellar dweller early this season. They have gone 9-1-1 in their last eleven games but currently are still NINE points out of the final wild card spot. That is what a nine and six game losing streak in the first 23 games of the season will do to a team.

If we know anything about this team we know they are fighters and won’t give up, I still have faith that they can make the playoffs and I know there are a bunch of fans that agree with me. If they can get healthy by the middle of February and keep this respectable in the meantime, there is no doubt in my mind they will be fighting for that last playoff spot come April.