First off, I wanted to say a quick good luck to Jason Williams, who recently signed a 1 year, $1.5 million contract with the Red Wings. This marks his return to Detroit, the team that originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in the year 2000.
What's impressed me even more than Williams solid offensive play when in Columbus, has been his attitude towards the Blue Jackets, especially after signing this new deal. His comments to The Dispatch:
"I was disappointed that it didn't work out, me coming back to Columbus," Williams told The Dispatch today. "But I understand the situation. I think if (Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson) could have re-signed me, he would have. But his hands were tied. There's nothing else he could do about it. There's no blame at all.
"That's a good young team that's definitely headed in the right direction. If I could have gone back, that would be great. That team is making strides. But this is the business. It's tough to keep players."
Although you're playing for that other team up north, good luck Jason, and I'm glad you enjoyed your time in Columbus.
And another good luck is in order, this time for Jared Aulin. Yesterday an article was published about the former 2nd round pick and his path back into the NHL.
I recommend reading the whole article, but here's a quick bit about the chance he's getting with the Blue Jackets:
Aulin had an agent send faxes to all NHL teams and follow that up with phone calls. He admits he didn't expect to hear from anyone and was, in fact, prepared to check out the European market.
Which is when the Columbus Blue Jackets called.
Don Boyd, their director of hockey operations and player personnel, remembered Aulin and convinced general manager Scott Howson that signing him was worth the gamble.
"I was ecstatic," Aulin said, adding that he is a different person than he was during his first go-round.
"I'm really confident right now and working really hard," he said. "With age comes maturity and discipline . . . it's been a great summer."
Aulin seems to have been through a lot, and hopefully for his sake and ours, he can find his way back to the NHL.
Aulin is a right-shooting center who once scored 108 points for Kamloops in the Western Hockey League. Ideally, he'll have a chance to center the fourth line in training camp and will battle with Andrew Murray, Michael Blunden, and Derek Dorsett for the job. Good luck!