by professor ggrib
As we take a few moments before the Calder Cup finals start for the Lake Erie Monsters, lets reflect over a few thoughts.
1] A guy by the name of John Davidson comes to town. His task, to give the wayward Blue Jackets, direction with a goal of bringing a Stanley Cup to Columbus, a town perceived nationally as Ohio State football’s town, not a hockey center. His initial concept was “build a team brick by brick”, a concept embraced by the weary and wary Blue Jacket faithful.
2] After some surprising initial success, the Jackets and the ever faithful fans settled in for the long cold road of the projected brick by brick road to success. Multiple high draft picks were made. Trades were made. Some of the top prospects obviously progressed. And 9 months ago, it looked like this would be the year the bricks had enough substance to accomplish something and then “Wham, Bam–thank you mam the Jackets were setting records for loosing and the season was lost—-again.
3] But wait, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. On Friday 10/2/15, the Jackets had a preseason game with the Buffalo Sabers. Due to a game the next night at home with the Nashville Predators, the squad sent suffeling off to Buffalo was mostly “to be” Lake Erie Monsters. The AHL’ers took it to the Sabers initially and held on for a great win. And BTW, these are the same group of players who have dominated the prospect tournament the past 2 years.
4] Through out the NHL season, the Monster’s lineup was continually decimated by call ups to the NHL Jackets. Still, they prevailed well enough to make the playoffs. With the CBJ out of the NHL playoffs, the Monsters were reunited as a team. A team with players who had obtained some NHL experience during the season. And oh yeah, a Columbus first round pick named Werenski joined the team following his college season.
Now, these Monsters are playing in the Caulder Cup finals. Lead by 2 goaltenders with scoring up and down the lineup, with players stepping up, they are looking like a whole bunch of bricks, ready to be built into something special.
The future is bright for the Blue Jackets. In the off season, some dead wood needs to go, Trades can be made in most positions and filled with the talent pool as needed. A #3 pick is available in the draft for obtaining a player or as trade bait. The world that was once “far, far away” is getting close.