Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith. ~Author Unknown
As September closes down, the long offseason for Blue Jackets fans is finally coming to an end.
Just over two weeks of training camp and preseason games separate us from opening night against the Bruins. Many fans have put up pictures of their new seats with a mix of excitement and masochism, wondering what kind of product they’ll see when their team hits the ice.
Others, who once would have been immersed to their eyeballs in the training camp and preseason hype, now watch with one wary eye open, because they’ve been burned a few too many times. They can’t help but wonder just what form the annual train wreck will take, because that’s what always happens. Some bought the tickets anyway, because they might as well see things derail in person. Some are holding back, because at least the beer is cheaper at home.
All of them want to believe. Believe in the club they’ve given a piece of their hearts to. Believe in players who can bring them some hope. Believe that this year - this year - it can be different. That it will be different.
Seeing the kids tear up the AHL last Spring is a reason to hope, but the coach who led them will now be guiding a rival NHL club, and only a handful have a real shot to make the NHL roster this season. How much will that transfusion of young blood change things?
Will someone like Sam Gagner provide a shot in the arm, or is he another journeyman who impresses in camp, but fails when it matters?
Do we really think that Scott Hartnell will play the entire season here, or will the trade drama and NTC rumors start before the Thanksgiving turkey gets cold?
Will Torts give this team what it needs, with a full training camp and an off-season to really work on getting the most from his personnel? Or will he struggle to engage them, as he did with the World Cup squad, and watch things slip away?
There are always reasons to hope.
There are always reasons to be afraid.
What we have to do now is decide which handle we’re planning to grab tomorrow with, and I cannot make that decision for you, because if we’re honest, I’m still struggling with it myself.
But I want to believe in the people who put on that Union Blue jersey.
I want to believe in this city.
I want to believe in us.
So perhaps that will be enough.