If there's one theme around the Jackets after the first day of free agency, it is that the times, they are a changin'.
With Jan Hejda, Scottie Upshall, and Mathieu Garon all on their way to new clubs, the Jackets sealed the deal with "The Wiz", then brought in a solid 2/3 goalie tandem in Mark Dekanich and Curtis Sanford. I agree with the guys at Puck Rakers that Dex was a real surprise, but the reactions from people more experienced with the AHL and Nashville's goaltending pipeline have been very encouraging, and if he should fail to push Mason, it's worth noting that Sanford is a solid journeyman, and should be a great mentor for Alan York.
As to Wisniewski, well, the reactions have been positive, and though, yes, the money was high, I think we have to consider just how aggressive this poor market was. I think a lot of credit is due to Scott Howson - in Wisniewski's own words, they'd gotten the deal done Thursday night, it was just a matter of settling the structure. Paperwork, essentially. That's an excellent job of getting the jump, grabbing his guy, and sealing the deal.
Don't forget that today's the last day of development camp at the Ice Haus - a scrimmage starting at 2pm. If you haven't been following Jackets' prospect Brandon Archibald on twitter, I highly suggest you take a look - he's been giving great insight into the camp and doing some fun Q&As with fans through the service.
Dannie Browne has a new blog, and she took a nice look at Columbus' moves, and where a lot of former Jackets ended up.
Is Seattle trying to lure an NHL team by building a new arena? I mean, it worked for Kansas City, right? Wait.... To their credit, Seattle has supported the WHL Thunderbirds, so I can see there might be a potential market, but this sounds like it could be a gamble if it gets off the ground.
Keep an eye out on Scott Howson looking to make some moves when teams like the Rangers, Sabres, Capitals, and Penguins need to make some cap room happen. Capgeek has details, but in particular Buffalo has a lot of RFAs they're dealing with, and not much space to do it...one might think they'll make a move.
A former NHL ref is suing a cartoonist. The real surprise is that it isn't Kerry Fraser!
So far, Puck Daddy thinks Scott Howson is a loser for the perceived overpayment on The Wiz. We'll just have to see what happens...but at least they're providing a lot of room to say they were wrong.
With more to come in free agency today, we'll see if Scott Howson has move tricks up his sleeve - he's said he's still pursuing at least one more defenseman. Here's hoping we see it play out.