I dunno about y’all, but it’s been a long, rough week for me. Work and life in general have left me tired and stressed, and the news yesterday about Artemi Panarin’s deadline just made me more upset. On this site, we had time to gripe about the team’s marketing and promotion strategy. Then we vented about the Panarin situation.
I DECLARE THIS THREAD A PANARIN-FREE ZONE. Let’s focus on the positive with this topic, as we wrap up the week and go into what should be a nice summer weekend.
What I want to talk about is our favorite players that are currently on the Blue Jackets. You can pick two: I figure everyone has a favorite among the “star” players on the team (yes, you can list Bread here if you want, but stick to talking about his on-ice performance), but I also want to take time to shine a light on any role players that aren’t on the league’s radar but have won your heart nonetheless. Finally, if you have a current player who has never donned the Union Blue but you enjoy them anyway, go ahead and share that too.
There’s no right or wrong reason to appreciate a player, but go ahead and explain why if you can. Is it a certain part of his game? Is it because of a encounter you had with him in the city? Let us know in the comments.
Here are my choices:
The Star: Cam Atkinson
I’m not a large man. Growing up I was always among the shortest boys in the class. So I still get excited when I see a diminutive athlete excel at a high level. Cam’s speed and skill always got my attention, but he truly won me over when he added some sandpaper to his game after Torts was hired. Scoring 35 goals and making the All-Star team in 2017 was a victory for shorties everywhere.
The Role Player: BJORKSTRAND
This is worth an explanation for anyone who may be relatively new to the site and is curious as to why Oliver Bjorkstrand’s name always appears capitalized. When he was drafted, for some reason I thought his name sounded really cool. I felt it was a name worthy of being shouted, hence the all-caps. So I started typing it that way every time in the comments, starting when he was still in Portland, scoring 118 points in 59 games in his final year before turning pro. The rest, as they say, is history. It’s fortunate for me that his play has - at times - risen to the level of his awesome surname.
The non-Jacket: Connor McDavid
I am nothing if not a huge homer, so it’s hard for me to give TOO much credit to players that have not played for my favorite team. Other contenders for this spot include Alex Ovechkin and PK Subban, but I’m going to go with Connor McDavid. I’ve made sure to get tickets to the Edmonton game each of the last two seasons, so I could see for myself what the hype was about. McDavid has not disappointed. He’s not the biggest player in the league, but something about him seems big when he’s on the ice. His speed stands out, too. You can blink and he’ll have gone from one to the other. I look forward to following his career for the next decade and a half.