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The First Cannon Blasts of 2015

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After some time off for the holidays, Cannon Blasts makes its 2015 debut.

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

You may have noticed the absence of Cannon Blasts the last couple weeks - well, have no fear! They are back after a bit of a holiday break.  Here are some links:

  • CapGeek apparently is no more.  Thoughts to the founder and director.
  • The best replacement site I could find (for now) is nhlnumbers.com.
  • Jim Diamond of Rink Side Report detailed his latest visit to the Capital City.  He always has nice things to say about Columbus, and this time he discovered Buckeye Donuts.  Jim and I will just have to agree to disagree on the quality of the DJ at Nationwide Arena, though.
  • Allison L states five reasons why the Winter Classic should come to Ohio.  I guess it depends on what the NHL wants to do with the Winter Classic or Stadium Series games.  This past outdoor game between the Capitals and Blackhawks was the lowest rated Winter Classic ever.  Is there some Winter Classic "fatigue" or were sports fans more interested in a revamped slate of Bowl Games on New Year's Day?  Or perhaps a Caps/Hawks matchup just isn't that great? 
  • Either way, I'm sure the NHL will be eying how Columbus responds to hosting the All-Star Game.  I think Ohio Stadium would fit great as a Stadium Series venue (let's be honest, Ohio State will likely be playing on New Year's Day for the forseeable future, and how many Ohioans do you think will show up to watch hockey that day? Plus Columbus was in the 50's this past New Year I believe so a 1/1/20XX game probably isn't the best idea).  There are some issues here - just because it can hold 100K+ are they going to be able to get 100K+ fans to buy up tickets and come out?  Maybe, but that's easier if the opponent is Detroit, Chicago, or Pittsburgh.  There aren't a ton of true rivalries yet - maybe the Rangers and Pens.  Portzline detailed some attendance and TV ratings problems last season.  Just how big is "Blue Jackets Nation?"  Even the casual fans from all corners of the state would make the trek for an outdoor game, but would there be 100K fans there (and the majority of those CBJ fans)?
  • Spoiler: Fan voting is a joke.
  • Last night notwithstanding, LeBrun dives into the rally for Columbus.
  • SCS still doesn't like the Jackets playoff chances.

Obligatory injury update:

-Letestu and Atkinson - back within a week

-Anisimov/Jenner - a month or two away

-Gibbons - actually haven't heard anything, but was labeled as 2-3 weeks on 12/19.  Haven't seen much in the way of updates other than he was skating on his own before the calendar flipped.

-Ryan Murray - gets more concerning with the lack of updates.

-Horton - :(

So, in theory, there could be three forwards back by the end of next week.  We won't be seeing Corey Tropp on the 2nd line I wouldn't think.  That would be the team down *just* Arty, Boone, Horton, and Murray.

Back at it tonight in Colorado.