To say that it was inevitable is an understatement. Tonight, the inevitable became a reality.
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The Blue Jackets traded long-time fan favorite and noted pugilist Jody Shelley to the San Jose Sharks for a 6th-round pick in the 2009 Entry Draft. Not a glorious return, but seemingly a good bargain for both sides.
Not a huge financial gain for the Blue Jackets, as they will save about $275,000 on the remainder of Shelley's contract. His deal is set to expire at the end of this season. Where he goes beyond that is wild speculation.
If I were a betting man, I would say this is Jody's final year in the National Hockey League. He has a nice home in Circleville with his wife, Mandy, and he likely won't seek permanent residence in Northern California. Why should he? His life is in Columbus, and he has a bright future in the organization should he choose that path.
Hopefully he will end up in the broadcast booth in the near future, something he is known to have interest in. He might actually be able to properly label players on the telestrator. Danny Gare, I'm looking at you.
General manager Scott Howson said he and Shelley had been discussing a possible move since October, not ironically the same time his playing time took a low blow. This is the right move for the team and for Shelley, and here's wishing he sees some action for the Sharks.
I will be a happy guy if the Sharks bring home the Cup this year, because Jody Shelley's name will be on it. He's a terrific ambassador for hockey, and one of very few players who graciously accepted their role. He knows he's not out there to score 20 goals, he's on the ice to make a physical impact and defend his team.
For a man of such character and integrity, it's a fitting role.
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