Let's start this on the right foot: Happy Birthday, Derick Brassard!
The discussion among Jackets' bloggers largely breaks down into two camps - those discussing the extension for R.J. Umberger, and those looking at last night's pre-season tilt.
For Umby, take a look at CBJ Blog's simple formula (Bonus for the phrase "Cowherdian Mouth Farts"), Martini Hockey is bang on when he looks forward to 5 more years of 110 percent, Puck-Rakers has a bit of Portzline talking to Umberger himself about the deal, LTL wins the prize for best title, and Jeff Little looks at both the initial news and the value of the deal.
As for the man himself? Seems stoked.
In the wider NHL last night, it looks like Brendan Shanahan will be getting some work, and unfortunately it's former Jacket Jody Shelley who will find himself a test case. Shelley put a nasty hit from behind on Toronto's Darryl Boyce along the boards, was immediately challenged by Jay Rosehill, and was given five for boarding, five for fighting, a game misconduct, and ejected. Jody has a lot of fans in Columbus, and I imagine they're in a similar position as Martini: Say It Isn't So...
In the wake of the Lokomotiv disaster, it has come out that former Jackets' draft pick (and Lokomotiv captain) Ivan Tkachenko was making massive anonymous donations to children in need of medical care. His last payment was made just before he left for the ill fated flight.
Hockey players are a special breed - even some of the toughest, nastiest, scrappiest pieces of work will drop everything to help out a good cause, visit a hospital, or give back to the community. We're blessed, in particular, to have had some amazingly generous and committed players on the Blue Jackets during their 10 year history - Rick Nash, Manny Malhotra, R.J. Umberger, Derek Dorsett, Jason Chimera, Jody Shelley, Tyler Wright, and many others.
We can add Ivan Tkachenko's name to that list. You may have never played a game in Nationwide Arena, but you showed the generosity, devotion, and commitment that has characterized the best men to have ever worn a union blue sweater.
You were a true Blue Jacket, Ivan. You will be missed.
Another bittersweet piece of news - Mike Modano has officially decided to hang up his skates, and will hold a press conference Friday. From his announcement, it sounds like he plans to remain involved with hockey, but it's always possible that he could restart his pro-wrestling career.
Over on Long Island, the Islanders named their new captain, surprising a few people by choosing Mark Streit over Kyle Okposo or John Tavares. Personally, I like it - it's a good, veteran choice. My only concern is his health after missing last season due to injury. Meanwhile, the Islanders also announced another proposal to renovate Nassau Coliseum and the surrounding area using private funding, after their last referendum for public support was shot down.
Over at New Jackets Fan, Chris took in his first game in almost ten years on Tuesday - check out his reaction!
Speaking of the Jets, Icethetics has finally weighed in on their new look, and Dustin Byfuglien's BWI case has taken a nasty turn, as a police expert felt he was under the influence of drugs. Now that he's been formally charged, it's likely that he'll be evaluated by the NHL / NHLPA substance abuse program, and I wouldn't be surprised if he misses some time to go through counseling and treatment as a result.
Last but not least? Brandon Archibald hates flying.