After a weekend of somewhat nerve wracking silence, Jeff Carter met with the Jackets front office (plus Rick Nash and reportedly R.J. Umberger), and tensions appear to be soothed all around. As expected, Carter's silence was more about needing to harness his frustration and shock than any intended slight at Columbus. There's a full transcript of his first media conference call on the team's web site, and they've also announced that Carter will be wearing #7. (Sorry, John Moore. Maybe you could take #77? I'm sure Anson Carter won't mind.) Fire up those jersey orders and keep an eye out for "shirt-seys" at the Blue Line...
Tom over at DBJ had some pre-press conference thoughts on Carter's reactions, LTL gave him a new nickname, and we had pre and post thoughts from Jeff at TMM. Call me biased, but I think the best news is that Carter is planning to come to Columbus "sooner than later" to check out the city and look for new digs. Despite the concerns over the situation, that really speaks of enthusiasm to make that new start. Just about every player who has been in Columbus for a season or two tends to enjoy living here - hopefully that will soften some of the blow.
Wondering who was qualified and who wasn't? HFBoards has a nice running tally. Some surprising names there - I will say that if Tyler Kennedy is a free agent on July 1, I want to see Scott Howson go after him with a vengeance. Christian Hanson could also be an interesting depth addition, should he appear on the market.
A stick tap to @CBJProspects for finding this USHL video interview of Jackets' prospect T.J. Tynan after he was drafted last weekend.
Over at The Copper & Blue, Derek is calling for more transparency in PHWA voting for the NHL awards. On a similar note, the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2011 will be announced today, which is another group that could use some accountability. (Pat Burns should have been in last year, and we all know it.) Interestingly, this is the first year where some former CBJ alumni (Andrew Cassels, Geoff Sanderson) could...IN THEORY...be eligible. Very, very, very long shot odds, though.
Steph Greegor of The Other Paper took some time to talk to Derek MacKenzie and Matt Calvert at the draft party. Next season was discussed, both personally and the changes in the team after the Carter trade.
Appropriately, since we're talking about UFA defensemen, Winging It In Motown would like to point out that there are reasons that all of them suck.
LTL has some more video tributes to Jeff Carter. Check the William Tell action.
Oh, good. The Phoenix Coyotes are back on the ownership carousel. As much as I respect the City of Glendale for ponying up the money the last two years to keep the team there, I think there's a point where, if you've gone through three (four?) prospective owners and NONE of them can get a deal done with you? The prospective owners may not be the problem...
In somewhat more surprising news, Steve Sullivan will not be back in Nashville. I almost expected him to retire there.
Tales of obsession and...well...obsession over at the CBJ Pucks & Stuff blog.
Finally, Tapeleg talks about his recent visit to see the Huntsville Havoc and the...less than ideal...condition of some trophies down there.
We'll be back with more UFA discussion later today. July first is coming! Get excited!