It is roasting out there. Try to close your eyes, think of a nice cold hockey rink, and relax.
The introduction of Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski on Wednesday continues to bring forth reactions, ranging from the NHL asking if fans think the Jackets will be a playoff team on Twitter (and an almost immediate creation of one fan's "doubters list") to larger pieces by Eric Smith at Hockeybuzz and Rob Mixer at Bluejackets.com.
Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic...Tomas Kaberle is..um...you just have to see this for yourself. Oh, and David Krejci got in on the fun as well. I'd make a joke here about "Hello Piggy Band" being the name of my next band, but obviously someone's already done it.
We live in a strange and frightening world, sometimes.
Over at LTL, he took a look at a few quick hits during the offseason, including the Jackets' renewed efforts to reach out to their fanbase (and he mentions a survey you can take right over here) and the general perception of the club.
Have you noticed that Columbus is suddenly becoming a bit more "sexy" in the eyes of a lot of fans and prognosticators thanks to the Carter / Wiz additions? Here's hoping that continues...it's nice to be taken seriously.
Versus, it seems, is also making an effort to get a bit more serious, as they've made legendary announcer Doc Emrick their full time play by play announcer, and brought in Dave Strader to serve as the #2 PBP man, seemingly naming him Doc's heir apparent as the national "voice" of the NHL.
Springfield Falcons superfan Katherine McCarthy reports that former Jackets prospect Jonathan Sigalet has signed a deal with Lev Poprad of the KHL.
Another familar name has also been in the news yesterday, as several hockey bloggers asked what the deal is with Nikolay Zherdev, and wondered if he'll be back in the NHL next season. It's interesting - it seems like Z. spent a lot of time maturing and improving his game, and you can't help but wonder...could he come back? Stranger things have happened, and you have to admit that at this point, he might fit Scott Arniel's system better than Ken Hitchcock's. On the other hand, he's had three chances...would he be given a fourth?
Last night's select a seat open house went well by all reports, with the twitterverse filled with excitement of new season ticket holders, and fans who were simply happy to get out and meet more players. (Not surprisingly, R.J. Umberger got a lot of love, and he gave it right back.)
Another arbitration hearing was avoided yesterday, with Brandon Dubinsky signing a new deal. The Rangers have Ryan Callahan left to sign before potentially needing to clear cap space - if the Jackets are seriously interested in Wojtek Wolski, that's when we'll see it happen.
Speaking of new season ticket holders, LTL also talked about his decision to get back on board.
Some sad news - Aaron Boogard, brother of Derek Boogard, has been arrested on drug charges. Given the tragedy his family has already gone through, we simply hope he can receive the help he needs.
Particularly with the debate over what to do with Ryan Johansen, I found this look at if "burning" ELC years to get a younger player more NHL experience is a bad thing really interesting.
The NHL has announced their roster for the 2011 R&D camp, and not surprisingly it's a list of players expected to be in high demand when the 2012 NHL entry draft rolls around.
Surprisingly, Gretzky signs in Chicago! Good on Trevor Gretzky for choosing to take his own path.