A mixed bag of news for the Blue Jackets and their fans today has resulted in three major pieces of news.
Bad news first: After R.J. Umberger left practice this morning early, the team was initially quiet, but soon reported that Umberger is suffering concussion symptoms, likely due to the hit to the head he suffered from Jean-Francois Jacques in Anaheim. Jacques was suspended three games for the hit, and at the time the fact that Umberger did not appear to be suffering long term effects was cited as a reason he was let off light.
The hope is that Umberger will be able to recover soon, but in the meantime his ironman streak of 288 NHL games will come to an end.
The team announced this evening that his roster spot will be filled by Falcons captain Dane Byers, who has been called up from Springfield. After reports in the Dispatch chat today that the team was hoping to get another look at Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson in the NHL soon, it seems an odd move, but the logic may be to keep Byers in a "grinder" role, while Atkinson or Calvert may be given a chance to play in the team's top six after the trade deadline if...no...WHEN skill players are moved.
Finally, the good news: The NHL has announced their full rosters for the NHL all star game in Ottawa at the end of the month, and the Blue Jackets will be represented by Ryan Johansen as part of the rookie contingent. The Johan will play in the skills competition and a Young Stars game. It will be interesting to see if Rick Nash takes the snub as a wake up call going forward, and ups his game accordingly.