by professor ggrib
Finally after being on twitter for 2 days and on the National coverage, the CBJ site got someone off holiday and the following news was posted. “The Blue Jackets have invited forwards James Sheppard and Antti Pihlstrom to camp on tryout agreements.” Now, to most everyone the key is “MORE FORWARDS”!!!????
It’s pretty much acknowledged that the CBJ have a glut of forwards……. but maybe not. My bet is that there is a plan. So here is my guess as to what the plan is. Actually, 2 guesses, but one is by far the most logical. And of course, both players will have to play their way onto the Blue Jackets. Although the Jackets have not had a history of being successful with “project” players, Jarmo does have a good eye………..
[a] To me the most likely plan is to correct the oldest and most consistent rap of the Blue Jackets. That is rushing young talent to the NHL and destroying them. By increasing the number of forwards, it will practically assure that the new kids will end up starting the year in Cleveland. Even if J Boll should retire and take a PR type job with the Jackets, there is a great likelihood that there will be NHLers covering the Blue Jacket squad so the youngsters can start their NHL seasoning with the Monsters. Consider this, M Chaput earned a birth on the big squad 2 years in a row to start the season. Then returned to the AHL for the reminder of the year. [Kinda confusing for this youngster’s career path to say the least as this will make it very difficult for him to even accomplish that.] But more NHL players might reduce the pain he has gone through in other young players.
[b] The Jackets are getting ready to move another forward and this has the chance of obtaining a “veteran” as a replacement. There seems to be constant verbiage re the Blue Jacket defensive corpse. Even Management continually comments that the defense is good, no problem, etc.. This gives rise to the thought, as Shakespeare wrote, “methinks the lady doth protest too much” . There could be something in the wind for a “D” man and that would probably include a forward moving. To get a quality defenseman, it would have to be at least one quality forward and maybe something else thrown it. Of course, M Calvert comes to mind. Matte has shown he can play on all 4 lines and is excellent on the PK. He’s might be a good pickup for many teams. But his loss would leave a hole that would need to be filled. Thus, seeking a diamond in the rough.