Monday, August 18, 2008
NHL Four-cast: Columbus Blue Jackets
1 - Why is this team worth watching? Hitch is a helluva coach and he should be able to make his newly rebuilt squad into a winner - they even may make the playoffs! Oh yeah, and Rick Nash can play like a HOCKEY GOD.
2 - Are they better or worse than last year? Much, much better. They made a ton of moves and only one of them was bad - being stuck with Christian Backman in the Zherdev deal. Still they lost Zherdev's talent but also his moodiness and gained Fedor Tyutin, who can step right in and replace Adam Foote (that traitor). Columbus' other big trade was also a steal - grabbing gritty big hitter Raffi Torres for disappointing Gilbert Brule. These guys will also join their big signings, R.J. Umberger and Kristian Huselius. Umberger is a growing talent, as everyone saw in the playoffs last season and he should work well on a line with Huselius. And they also added the solid Mike Commodore to give them sex appeal.
3 - Who should YOU draft in fantasy? There is Nash, then Huselius and Umberger. Pascal Leclaire put up some great numbers last year and if he stays healthy, he should do even better. And if he falls, Fredrik Norrena is perfectly capable of putting together a string of good starts. Jared Boll will get you penalty minutes and a dozen or so points, which is always nice. But the one player to really keep an eye on will be rookie Jakub Voracek, if he makes the team. Voracek has mad skills and could turn into a Jagr-type player.
4 - Why don't more owners in the NHL act the same way the dearly departed Mr. Mac did? I wish I knew, I wish I knew ...