In The Cards: Columbus BlueJackets

15thSep. × ’11

This series will cover all thirty teams and go over the most important player, and player who’s performance most needs to improve to help the team succeed.

 

If there is a team more in need of a post season cup of coffee than Ohio’s boys of winter I can’t think of who they might be. With their additions since their season ended in early April, and the chance of a sparkling rookie breaking the line up they have a good chance of making it happen. With the new deal that will lower the financial burden of the team and keep them in the city longer they should also have a little more flexibility to retain talent.

High Card:

While Captain Rick Nash is undoubtedly more talented, than Jeff Carter the latter is the key to the season. Jeff Carter has been on high end teams with a legitimate shot at winning the cup. No forward on the BlueJackets has more recent playoff experience, and some have never been on a team that has won a playoff game. Carters experience will need to be passed on to his new teammates and how much how well he does this will affect the teams post season hopes and performance can’t be understated.

Wild Card:

Of all the major deals struck over the summer, James Wisniewski received perhaps the most discussed.  It is easy to see why when you hit the stat sheet. His salary this season will be more than twice what it was last year. Despite having debuted in the NHL in the 05-06 season last season was the first year he played more than 70 games (75), and the only season he’s had more than 31 points. This is also the first multi-year deal since his entry level deal. On the plus side of the ledger when he got the chance to play quality minutes in an offensive role last season it took him just 43 games to equal his best NHL production level previously achieved in 69 games. He also managed to collect points in a hard fought series against the eventual Stanley Cup Champions. It’s pretty simple, if last year was the real James Wisniewski Columbus just got a new cannon for the blueline. If last year was an aberration, they may never live his contract down and heads will likely roll.


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