After over two years of uncertainty, the Blue Jackets fanbase received the best possible news - that a proposal to fix the team's arena lease has not only been created, but that it appears to have significant backing by all parties.
Coverage on this is vast and flavorful, starting with a full court press from the Dispatch.
The best possible endorsement, though, comes from arena expert and Columbus blog eminence gris Jeff Little, who talks about the deal's solid framework.
We've also got takes from CBJ Blog, CBUS Cheap Seats, Pro Hockey Talk, Business First, and Light The Lamp.
For my part, I do agree with LTL that this deal, while currently just a proposal, has to have some major buy in from all sides, or they would not have put so much thought into presenting it to the public, and I think this is a good deal not just for the Jackets, but for the city, with much improved stability for the Arena District and the city's economy as a whole. But it's not a done deal yet - and there are things you can do to help.
Want the Jackets here until 2039? Want to see a Stanley Cup in Columbus? Want to see the Arena District keep growing? Want to make sure we don't risk losing thousands of jobs?
Pick up your phone.
At last we checked with the Blue Jackets, they stated they had the equivalent of 11,000 season tickets sold - which probably translates closer to 15,000-20,000 actual people when you consider the half season, quarter season, and 6 game packs in there.
I want you to put your mouth where your money is. While the vote for this proposal will happen at the Franklin County Commissioner and Columbus City Council levels, they're still listening for public opinion. We need to tell them, "YES, I SUPPORT THIS DEAL!", loudly, proudly, and until the day the vote passes and we can stop worrying about the team's potential departure, and start dreaming about the future.
Columbus City Council:
Shared FAX #s: 614-645-7399, 614-645-0533, 614-645-7160
Priscilla R. Tyson
Michelle M. Mills
A. Troy Miller
Zachary M. Klein
Eileen Y. Paley
Hearcel F. Craig (PRESIDENT Pro Tem)
Andrew J. Ginther (PRESIDENT)
Franklin County Board Of Commissioners
Marilyn Brown (PRESIDENT)
City Of Columbus - Mayor's Office
Here's your marching orders, Army of the Ohio. Get the word out. Get the talk buzzing. Pick up your phone and make it loud and clear that we're behind this deal. It's time to make a difference.
In the wider NHL, it was time to open the pocketbook as teams attempted to lock down their unsigned RFAs prior to the start of training camp.
Brad Marchand? Got paid!
John Tavares? Got Paid!
Luke Schenn? Gettin' Paid!
Tyler Myers? Got Paid!
Zach Bogosian? Got Paid!
Kyle Turris? ....well, let's not get too hasty.
In Traverse City, the Jackets took the third place game against St. Louis all the way to double OT, but couldn't hang on for the win, falling 4-3 to the Blues. That said? Far better finish than last year, and some really encouraging performances - particularly David Savard and Ryan Johansen. We should know by tomorrow who will be invited to the main training camp - we'll let you know as soon as we have the news.
The NHL is implementing a social media policy - similar to other pro leagues - with a four hour "blackout" window before, during, and after games, and asking players not to tweet during practices and team obligations. I know some people are complaining this will take away some interaction between players and fans, but I disagree. Even if they're not tweeting, it's not like they can't read well wishes or feedback, and frankly, during a game? I'm far happier if R.J. Umberger is focusing on his board battles than thinking about a new hashtag.
DBJ has an update on bringing the Hockey This Morning guys to Columbus!
Over at Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshnyski talks about Martin Brodeur, and how his faith as a fan has changed over the years.
Before all the arena news broke, Jeff had a nice midweek post at TMM, and a great guest post from Rick Gethin talking about the city and the team.
Marcel Aubut, former owner of the Nordiques, feels the NHL could be back in Quebec City within two years.
Talks to bring Fernando Pisani to camp on a tryout agreement have fallen through, per Aaron Portzline.
Strange NHL birthplaces? Here are a few.
Rob Mixer has a great look at Vinny Prospal: X-Factor.
Finally, LTL has a few player predictions for next season.