As the game vs. the Predators rolls on, the Blue Jackets have announced that d-man Radek Martinek, who was injured earlier this year against the Detroit Red Wings, will be shut down for the year due to post-concussion symptoms.
It's likely a bitter pill to swallow for the Czech d-man, who had hoped to shake injury woes and perhaps earn a fresh start in Columbus, particularly since he was on a one year deal. The hit from Darren Helm didn't just end his season - it might have ended his NHL career. We wish Radek the best and hope he'll make a return to hockey in the future. No matter how briefly, he was a Blue Jacket, and he wore the uniform with pride.
The other side of the coin is that the Jackets have signed much maligned defenseman Brett Lebda to a one year deal. Lebda had been playing on an AHL deal with the Springfield Falcons, where he has 1 goal, 9 assists, and an even +/- rating over 26 games.
While Lebda is mostly remembered for flaming out in Toronto after being a small part of the Red Wings' last Stanley Cup winning team, he will return to the NHL a little older, perhaps a little wiser, and with a serious lesson in humility. It will be interesting to see what he might bring should he be called up to the big club.
More importantly, if he -is- called up, what does that mean for the existing bottom four d-men? Is David Savard heading back to Springfield? Will Grant Clitsome trade the press box popcorn for bus rides? About the only "safe" guy in the team's lower tiers of d-men would seem to be Aaron Johnson, given Todd Richards' recent praise.