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Sudbury, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
Primary Staff: Scott Howson (GM), Scott Arniel (Head Coach)
2009-10 Stats: 82GP 32W 35L 15OTL 79PTS
Place: 5th Central, 14th West, 27th NHL
Top Scorer: Rick Nash – 76GP 33G 34A 67P
Captains: Rick Nash (C), Mike Commodore (A), RJ Umberger (A)



Nathan Paetsch (Signed with Florida)


Nate Guenin (Free Agent)
Brendan Bell (Free Agent)
Ryan Johansen (4th overall selection)
Ethan Moreau (Waiver Claim)
Ben Guite (Free Agent)

The Columbus Blue Jackets had a struggling season throughout 2009-10. They had an overall -129 plus/minus, and there was little to no goal scoring ability outside of their top six as only five skaters managed to break the 10 goal plateau. That, to put it lightly, is not good enough. Promising young centerman, Derick Brassard, had a poor season since returning from shoulder surgery. His 25 points in 31 games during the 2008-09 season showed signs of potential brilliance from the 2006 first round pick, but his return from injury for the 2009-10 season revealed much less flash and execution from the Hull, Quebec native.

They are the 8th youngest club in the league and have plenty of time to grow into their own. Goaltender Steve Mason struggled at times during his sophomore campaign, but he is a strong-willed goaltender who should be able to bounce back to respectable numbers. The biggest question for the Blue Jackets is whether their defence can handle the pressure of their Central division rivals, and, perhaps more importantly, if their offence can find a way to bury the puck more often.

It will require much more effort from the club as a whole to improve on last season’s performance, but a lack of improvement via free agency on their back-end could prove to be the catalyst for this franchise. Additionally, the team has not made an effort to bring in a veteran netminder in order to help groom their franchise goaltender (Steve Mason). Mathieu Garon, as respectable of a goaltender as he is, won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, appearing in just four games with the club, and only one playoff game (the only playoff game of his career). He is not necessarily the proper veteran you need in net to mentor Steve Mason. They need a winner, and, unfortunately, this team lacks that type of identity outside of Samuel Pahlsson and Mike Commodore.

Prediction: 5th Central, 14th West


R.J. Umberger – Antoine Vermette – Rick Nash
Kristian Huselius – Derick Brassard – Jakub Voracek
Ethan Moreau – Samuel Pahlsson – Chris Clark
Derek Dorsett – Michael Blunden – Jared Boll
Nikita Filatov – Ben Guite – Maxim Mayorov
Andrew Murray – Kyle Wilson – Derek MacKenzie
Revor Frischmon

Fedor Tyutin – Jan Hejda
Rostislav Klesla – Marc Methot
Kris Russell – Mike Commodore
Anton Stralman – Grant Clitsome

Steve Mason
Mathieu Garon

For more articles by Micheal Aldred, visit http://www.thecheckingline.com
Filed Under:   columbus   blue jackets   nash   preview   mason   umberger  
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