As Jeff Rimer gets set to retire: What does he mean to the 5th line?

The Blue Jackets will have a different voice on their TV broadcasts next year, for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Whoever takes on this job, will have big shoes to fill.
Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

If we're talking about hockey in Central Ohio, there are two names that come immediately to mind. John H. McConnell and Rick Nash. They are the guys who are typically at the beginning of any conversation regarding Columbus Blue Jacket history.

But as we reflect upon the last 24 years of hockey in Columbus, there needs to be a third name in this mix. We should consider ourselves honored to have listened to the words of Jeff Rimer. He should be the next name on the list of ambassadors for the city and its beloved team.

For those of us who have lived outside of Ohio for the last 20 years, Rimer's voice has guided us through so many ups and downs, both at home and on the road.

Through the low points, his beaming positivity and excited tone gave us a different perspective. He had a way of painting a brighter picture, even when the team was at the bottom of the standings.

When the team had its high points, his excitement was palpable. You could feel his love for the game and this team through every broadcast.

Whether things were good or bad, we could always count on a brief segment of "Rimer's Rumors" during the games. Especially around the trade deadline or over the summer - Jeff was never shy about bringing up some gossip from around the league.

But my favorite thing about Jeff, was his complete approachability. He loves to talk about hockey, and never took himself too seriously. He always had time to share stories, and you can feel the respect he has from around the entire hockey world.

His departure from this organization leaves a gaping hole, one that will be nearly impossible to fill right away. I'm confident that the next TV voice of the Jackets is going to do a terrific job calling the games.

But, to replace someone who has been around the game so long, and earned so much love and respect? That will be a difficult thing to do.

Having the courage to open up and put yourself out there in such a personal way, is a special trait. That's something I will never forget.

For this 5th liner, Jeff Rimer means far more than just a voice coming through the television. He's been the persona behind my main form of entertainment for 20 years.

Even living out of the area, I always felt like I was right around the team. The ability to tell that story; to make people feel like we're riding the bus, or sitting in the locker room, is magical.

For all of that, and everything else, thank you for putting yourself in front of us, Jeff. All the best in retirement, and in my book, you deserve a place on the CBJ Mount Rushmore.

PS - write a book!