Good morning, and welcome to the first morning of Blue Jackets Training Camp!
We'll have more content on the training camp battles we see coming up today, and the usual Friday Followup later this afternoon.
As the team goes into camp today for physicals and the first of what promises to be a series of physical evaluations by new S&C coach Kevin Collins, the team announced that they would be inviting three additional goaltenders to camp: Former Western MIchigan U. goatender Riley Gill, who also was on the team's Traverse City tournament squad, AHL journeyman Daren Machesney, who served as a backup last year to head coach Scott Arniel's Manitoba Moose, and former Kings draft pick Dan Taylor, who split time in the Columbus system last year between the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL and the Syracuse Crunch.
The camp invites are a result of 2010 draft pick Mathieu Corbiel rehabbing a fractured wrist, the release of Traverse City goaltender Jason Missiaen from his tryout contract, and most concerningly, recently signed Gustaf Wesslau suffering from stiffness and soreness in his right knee. Wesslau originally had surgery last spring to correct a problem in the same knee, and the Dispatch reports he'll be having it scoped soon.
All things considered, though, assuming Wesslau's knee issues aren't too serious, I don't see any reason for fans to be too concerned. Corbeil would be returning to Juniors regardless, and the team still has a healthy Steve Mason, Mathieu Garon, and David LeNeveu. I wouldn't even be too worried if you're a Springfield fan - back in 2008-2009, Steve Mason was rehabbing much more serious knee issues to start camp, and was still able to claim the starter's job with the Crunch, and later be called up for his exceptional rookie run.
While I don't expect Wesslau to have quite as dramatic a debut, I would still expect he'll be healthy to split time in Massachusetts with LeNeveu by the end of camp, while I suspect Machesney, Taylor and Gill will be competing more for the starter's role in Gwinnett than stealing away an AHL job.
As a reminder, single game tickets are on sale through the team starting NOW, and the team will open on-ice workouts tomorrow morning in Nationwide Arena. Fans are encouraged to attend, and the doors will open at 8:30am for the nine o'clock practice.
The long summer of our discontent has ended. Carry the Flag!