Why Jody Shelley Should Have His Number Retired by the Columbus Blue Jackets


In his weekly Rafter Thoughts, staff writer Chris Stahler offers up a name from the Blue Jackets past as to who should be the first to see their number forever hang in the rafters of Nationwide Arena. This week, he takes a look at a guy who Blue Jackets fans can have a tough time forgetting, considering he’s still with the organization. The man that, for many needs no introduction, is Jody Shelley.

Jody Shelley is a name that brings joy and passion to a Columbus Blue Jackets’ fan heart, and for good reason. Sure, he wasn’t known for the flash and goal scoring in the NHL, but he was a special player. He spent five and half seasons with the Jackets, and still a part of the organization doing the TV broadcasts along side Jeff Rimer.

Major Junior Career

Jody spent his Major Junior career with the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL. In the 1994-1995 season, his rookie campaign, he managed 22 points in 72 games and racked up 194 penalty minutes. He would continue the high PIM trend by being awarded 319 of them during the ’95-96 season. He also managed to put up 32 points in 50 games, proving he wasn’t just a goon. His most astounding season came the very next year, putting up 420 penalty minutes in just 59 games. That doesn’t include the 125 PIMs he had in the playoffs. He also put up 44 points in those 59 games to prove that he was indeed an all-around player.

AHL Career

Shelley was signed by the Saint John’s Flames before the 1997-1998 season, and suffered from a severe freshmen slump his first year with the team, he was less than stellar. Only given the opportunity to play in 18 games, he managed a single goal and the same number of assists…er, that shouldn’t be plural…for the Flames. Saint John’s wasn’t kind to him during the ’98-99 season either, giving him only eight games to play, in which he didn’t put up a single point. He saw a little more ice time in the ’99-00 campaign, putting up 5 points in 22 games. He was signed by the Columbus Blue Jackets heading into their inaugural season in 2000

Career with the Blue Jackets

Jody Shelley joined the Columbus Blue Jackets for all of one game during their inaugural season, but to his credit, he racked up 10 penalty minutes his only game. He earned a healthy spot in the roster during the 2001-2002 season playing 52 games. During the 2003-2004 NHL season, he put up a career-record for fights, with 30. He was seen as an enforcer with the Jackets, but I think we can classify him as a motivator. He didn’t just fight for the sake of fighting, he did it to get the crowd fired up, his teammates fired up, and sometimes just to get himself fired up. His highest scoring season happened to be the season in which he played the most games. In 2005-2006, he had 10 points in 80 games with the CBJ, racking up over 160 PIMs. He would stay with the Jackets until the 2007-2008 season in which he was traded to the San Jose Sharks for a 6th round pick. From there, he went to the New York Rangers in 2009-2010 and then the Flyers in 2010-2011, where he remained until he retired after the 2012-2013 campaign


  • Penalty Minutes (420) for the Halifax Mooseheads
  • Single Season PIMs (357) for the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
  • Single Game PIMs (41) for San Jose
  • His number (25) was retired by Halifax
  • Named number one Mooseheads player of all time.

Shelley is now the TV broadcaster as well as an active figure in the Columbus community. He is one of the most recognizable Jackets of all-time, and serves Columbus and the organization well. Will he be the first number retired by the Jackets? Let us know if he should, or if somebody else deserves that honor. Tweet us over @UnionandBlue with your suggestions.

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