As it stands right now, the Columbus Blue Jackets are one of only three teams in the NHL without a minor-league affiliate in the ECHL, along with the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils. The Jackets affiliation with Lake E...I mean Cleveland, is only in its infancy, as this is the second season with the pairing, but it seems to be a match made in paradise.
As a matter of fact, since the inaugural 2000 season, the Jackets have only had three AHL affiliates (previously with the Syracuse Crunch and the Springfield Falcons) and yet eight different "secondary" affiliations (this includes ECHL, CHL and UHL affiliates since 2000). So, that begs the question - should the Blue Jackets consider having a secondary affiliation with an ECHL team again?
At first, it sounds like a great idea, especially if Columbus can align themselves with a team like Fort Wayne (currently an unaffiliated squad) or Cincinnati (currently with Nashville).
But, the more you think about it, the more it seems that a single-affiliation, for the time being at least, is the right way to go. You kind of have a feel for what the Monsters are doing and who is there - imagine doubling that. The Jackets feel confident bringing a handful of Monsters up, and even feel confident sending a guy down if need be, but if they add a second team, there will most likely have to be a second set of transactions that have to go through, and that's not something anyone really wants to ponder.
I guess this is all a long way of saying, as fun as it may seem to have a team in Cincy or Fort Wayne, it might be best - for now - that the Jackets and Monsters work together on becoming a stronger and stronger affiliation. I mean, it's been working well so far, right?
Here are some links for you today.
Columbus Blue Jackets News
- It was raining Dubi's last night in Nationwide as the Jackets took care of Carolina.
- Here's the view from the fine folks over at Canes Country, as well.
- The Jackets are still new to the whole "having a ton of success," thing. BlueJackets Xtra's Tom Reed puts into perspective just how well a couple of other division foes are doing, plus gets some great quotes from the Jackets about needing to find another "gear".
- Speaking of BJX, here's the transcript from their weekly chat.
- Despite the Jackets win, they got dealt a minor blow last night when Markus Nutivaara didn't suit up for the first time this year, and is listed as day-to-day.
- It's been a few days, so here is an updated Playoff Probability Report! If the Jackets weren't at the top of the NHL standings, I'd remember to put this in every day. I'll try to remember daily, but I am only human you know!
National Hockey League News
- The New York Islanders fired their head coach Jack Capuano and have named assistant coach and assistant GM Doug Weight as their interim head coach. Do a bit of looking around at Lighthouse Hockey after you read the initial article, as they have a ton of articles for you to read.
- And who, by golly, will become the new head man in Brooklyn with Capuano's departure? Sportsnet's Rory Boylen runs down his list of six names the Isles should consider.
- The Blue Jackets aren't the only team who is in the goalie news market recently. The Winnipeg Jets are as well, but for a very, very different reason, as they have recalled Ondrej Pavelec.
- This is awesome, and is going in today's Cannon Blasts because I didn't do one yesterday *dodges tomatoes* - the NHL's first black player, Willie O'Ree, delivered the ceremonial puck drop in LA on MLK Day.
- The year is 2100, and the Jackets are getting ready to celebrate their Centennial season. How much would you pay for that piece of history? Would you pay, say, $11K?
- There's a new sheriff in town, as the Jackets no longer find themselves sitting atop the TSN Power Rankings.
- I'm gonna dedicate this story to our fearless leader Mike MacLean - Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year deal, with a mutual option for 2018. $18 to hit a ball very far. Must be nice.
- Speaking of diamondball, need a place to keep track of all the free agent signings in MLB this offseason? Okay, here you go.