by professor ggrib
One of the more interesting UFAs of the Jackets is Jack Skillie. The Blue Jackets signed him a year ago for a one year-2 way contract. I had the impression it was sorta a last chance NHL contract for Jack as he just never showed his potential with previous teams. Jack played both in Springfield and Columbus last season. In Columbus, he played with some skill and speed, but was sent down to Springfield where he was injured and missed some time. Upon his return to the Falcons line up, he scored 4 goals in a single game and wham-bam he was shortly with the Blue Jackets.
Fast forward a few games and a few injuries and shazam, Jack is playing on the top Blue Jacket line [note, I am calling the Johansen line the top line] . And this is the playoffs, the second Blue Jacket entry into the rarefied air of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A few fan’s eyebrows raised. Why Jack Skillie? Why not Mark Letestu, a proven skills player? But Jack performed well. Did his job. Had some SOG, skated with speed. Played hard nosed hockey with some strong hits. In short, verified Todd Richards’ faith in him and left the other rolling lines to continue their roll.
Skillie’s 2013-2014 contract was for $625,000, peanuts in the pay ranks. He is an UFA. So, WDYT? Who/What is Jack Skillie?
Jack was the 2005 first round of the Chicago Blackhawks which was #7 overall. He has played 194 NHL games including the 16 with the CBJ last year and scored 24 goals with 29 assists. Previously he played for the Blackhawks and the Panthers. At 27 years old, he should be at the peak of his hockey skills.
The CBJ need to answer these questions: [a] Is Skillie a player who came to Columbus at just the right time of his career and will flourish, developing into the talent potential projected by his first round pick? OR Is it time for the CBJ to stop picking through other teams discards and microscopically improving themselves?
My opinion—- We don’t know. But at his salary position, I say resign him to a 1-2 year 2 way contract and see. If he is going to flourish it would be a great acquisition.