The calendar has turned to September, that means that the days are suppose to be getting cooler and it is suppose to be fall. It also means that it is hockey time. That's right the National Hockey League, or NHL kicks off it's preseason just next week. Are the teams ready? Let's look at the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Columbus Blue Jackets play in the new Metropolitan division of the Eastern Conference. Last year, they ended the season with a decent 24-17-7 record. At the end of last year, there was a realignment of some of the conferences and division, to make them more closely aligned geographically, and to cut the road trip times. We will have to see how this plays out this year, and the Columbus Blue Jackets are one team it is set to impact, although many analysts think this could be favorable for the Blue Jackets.
The biggest loss of the off season would have to be Vinny Proposal, center, who lead the team in points and assists; to free agency. Those are some pretty big skates to fill, a points leader and an assist leader. He wasn't the only loss, the Columbus Blue Jackets took some big hits to free agency this year, but his loss could be the most hurtful to the team.
The biggest gains they might have made in the off season seem to have come in the form of the signing of Nathan Horton, right wing who was signed to a seven year contract. Couple that with the resigning of right wing Spencer Machacek, and defensemen Cody Goloubef, and they may have shored up a solid defensive. No one expects the same level of goal tending from Sergei Bobrovsky as last year, so the weakness may be the offensive line.
A new conference, new rivals, and new players; it all adds up to a really new and exciting year for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fans young and old should enjoy this year for many reasons. Let's see if they are ready, and mark the start of a new history in the new division.
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