As I alluded to in yesterday's blog, today is more or less about the Jackets, but more so about other talking points in a quick off day. Yes, I know the by week is coming up and there's where I should do that, but since there was an eventful sports weekend in the world, that will be discussed. Furthermore, I will talk about injury updates in Columbus, plus the winter park; and someone that may make sense as a cheap rental player for the Jackets.
Let's start with the Jackets as that's who I talk about the most in my blog. Over the weekend, Markus Nutivarra returned to the lineup, taking Dalton Prout's spot. David Savard still remains out, keeping Scott Harrington in for the time being. I have no idea of when Savard returns to the lineup. Harrington has been a plug in defenseman that may be a top pairing guy in the AHL, but the Jackets do not want to lose him to the waiver wire. There have been plenty of young and inexpensive players picked up off there this season: Seth Griffith (TOR); Alexy Marchenko (TOR); Ben Smith (TOR); Reid Boucher (VAN); Temmu Pulkinen (MIN); and PA Parenteau (NJD)-- have all been guys claimed off waivers so far. And the Jackets are avoiding Harrington from being added to the list. Otherwise, if claimed, the Jackets would get a fifth round draft pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs as a result of the Kerby Rychel trade in the summer.
The Jackets also assigned Finnish winger Markus Hannikanen to the Cleveland
Monsters of the American Hockey League. He has scored his first career goal in a recent matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes. The undrafted forward has been sort of a tweener between the NHL and the AHL for the Jackets this season as John Tortorella sees him as a better fit (perhaps?).
The Winter Park is back in Columbus, and if you never skated outdoors before, or do not have anything planned, this is a must go event. For fans that know the team from last season, John Tortorella broke his ribs on the outdoor ice in a collision with Rene Bourque, now part of the Colorado Avalanche. For the fans that stuck around longer, some know the Winter Park was around for the All-Star weekend a couple seasons ago.
Going on now to someone who I think could work in Columbus. With the expansion draft in the summer, my aim would be to go cheap to not lose someone to Vegas. Someone who I feel that could work in a bottom six role in a cheap deal would be the recently remoted Mike Riberio. The veteran center has played with the Dallas Stars; Montreal Canadiens; Washington Capitals; Arizona Coyotes; and the Nashville Predators. After recently being cleared through waivers, he is part of the Predators’ farm club in Milwaukee. After getting a veteran forward for a fourth, what would an experienced guy in the minors get? Maybe less, and that’s what the Jackets need. Less is more in this.
As I said, I did witness the Hershey Bears play the St. Johns Ice Caps on Super Bowl Sunday at the Giant Center. The Bears defeated the Ice Caps by the final score of 3-2 in regulation. The Bears opened the scoring with two quick goals in the first period. Chandler Stephenson got free on a breakway to beat Lindgren for his seventh of the season. Goalie Vitek Vanchek had the lone assist. Moments later, Christain Djoos held the puck off a rebound attempt for his second of the season. Christian Thomas and Ryan Borque had the assists.
Josiah Didier beat Vancek for his first AHL goal of his career. Congrats to the young defenseman.
Chris Bourque extended the lead to 3-1 for Hershey which held on to be the eventual game winner.
Chirs Terry was fed a beautiful one time pass from Daniel Carr to make it 3-2.
The Ice Caps are a big and solid team, holding a lot of promise for the Montreal Candiens for years to come. The Bears’ star players stood out. Jakub Vrana was impressive on a near attempt, and will be a star for the Capitals for years to come.
The Super Bowl was quite the event this weekend, coming back from a 25 point lead in an overtime victory for the New England Patriots. Quite the event it was. Lady Gaga was great at halftime, but the commericals were bad. Mr. Clean was my personal favorite.
Thoughts on the weekend?
The NFL? AHL? NHL? CBJ?
More to come…
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