Good morning and welcome back!
With more uncertainty around the plans for goaltending for the remainder of the season, the Jackets will take on some familiar faces tonight in the Winnipeg Jets, not the least their new head coach. Aaron Portzline in particular wonders what might have been - the two men behind the benches could have easily seen their roles reversed, while players continue to react to the changes to their locker room.
Pierre LeBrun talks about the Tampa / Philly headache at ESPN, and mentions that when GMs meet on Tuesday they'll also get a report on the current state of realignment talks before the owners meetings' in December. I would expect to see more leaks / rumors of realignment scenarios in their wake - but more importantly, if Scott Howson is still working on trade options, one wonders if a face to face bargaining session might help him close a deal or two.
The open letter we featured yesterday is being printed in a more general form (less references to Cincinnati, for one) and will be circulated at this morning's Season Ticket Holder skate and the next two in-game "tweetups" for interested fans to sign before it is sent to the team.
Over at PHT, an interesting note from Coyotes coach Dave Tippett about the "hits" stat. "When you have too many hits in the game....that means you don't have a puck enough." I know at least one CBJ blogger who read that last sentence in his kitchen this morning and started nodding and going "YES, YES, YES!" over his morning toast.
Outside of Jackets news we have more talk about the NBA lockout being the NHL's opportunity, Kyle Okposo is having a bad start to his season, former Jacket Aaron Rome got ejected for a questionable hit (again), Wayne Gretzky may play in the WC alumni game after all, an awesome 100% hockey wedding, a look at a new helmet design from Easton, and a breakdown of the Dion Phaneuf trade after Niklas Hagman was sent to the AHL.
Finally, a sobering timeline at DBJ - the complete saga of this team in turmoil.