Nash has been traded (Finally!), Howson made a couple of minor moves, the draft is over and what do we have? Well, back when we first learned Nash had asked for a trade, I wrote a fan post advocating building a team similar to those teams we had the first two years of CBJ existence. Hard working, leave it all on the ice, make it exciting to be at the game type players. And the response? Simple. I caught Hell for the suggestion. But what did Howson and Patrick do? They went and built pretty much what I advocated. Looking at what is on the roster, we have a good defense. A bit of scoring in Wiz and JMFJ. A bit of two way play in the Russian pair of Toots and Niki. A defensive defenseman in Aucoin. And young, talented players who could go either way in Moore, Murray, Erixson and Savard.
And the forward lines? What I see is, essentially, two #2 lines, a third line that can play like either a #2 or #4 line and a standard "energy" line. But look at the types of players on those lines. No stars, no snipers, no glory seekers. Just a bunch of hard working, leave it all on the ice, make it exciting to be at the game type players. Yes, the Johan could break out and be a star. Yes, Cammy could be that irritating little guy who racks up lots of goals. And I think it's possible that, without Nash around and Richards having confidence in him, Brass just could blossom into that #1 center he was projected to be. Yet, having said that, what we're going to see is hard work. This is definitely a blue collar team. A perfect fit for a blue collar town.
Okay, other teams have more talent. But we've all seen teams in all the major sports who have less talent, overall, than the "name" teams who, by playing as a team have been a force in their league. Could that be the 2012-2013 Blue Jackets? Right now, it does seem a far-fetched hope......Or even a pipe dream. Yet, conceivably, it could be. This could be the first time in four years, and only the second time in team history, that the Jackets are buyers, not sellers, at the trade deadline.
Yes, there are questions. Can Bobrovsky really be a #1 goalie? Is the defense as good on ice as it looks on paper? Can the forwards score enough to win games consistently? Is Richards the right head coach? Who knows? But I'll tell you what. I'm looking forward to September and the new season.