We’re now in a month in which games will be played by players in Columbus Blue Jackets sweaters. Not real games, but after the long summer we’ll take what we can get, right?
Old faces, new numbers
The Jackets announced the uniform numbers for new players, and some new numbers for existing players. I ran some calculations and here’s what I think they might mean:
Vladislav Gavrikov, switching from 44 to 4: He divided his number by 11, so I predict that he’ll score 11 goals. Not only would it be a new career high, it would almost double his career total (12).
Carson Meyer, switching from 55 to 72: This is the first player to wear 72 since Sergei Bobrovsky left in 2019. That number worked well for Bob here, so it must mean that Meyer will receive Selke votes for his play on the fourth line.
Kent Johnson, switching from 13 to 91: Just a reminder that 1991 was 11 years before Johnson was born. Happy Monday, everybody!
Jake Christiansen switching from 32 to 23: This can only mean one thing. He’s single-mindedly dedicated to greatness after failing to secure a regular spot in the lineup.
Erik Gudbranson, a new addition taking the number 44: Sure, he’s worn this number for most of his career, but I think it takes extra meaning now, as it reminds us that he is signed for 4 years at $4 million per year. Happy Monday, everybody!
The annual Traverse City prospects tournament is coming up later this week, with the Jackets practicing on Wednesday at the Ice Haus, then playing St. Louis in Game 1 on Thursday. A full preview and open thread will be posted on Thursday morning. It’s a stacked roster that should follow up the strong performance from last year.
Training camp will start next week, with the first preseason games on Sunday, September 25 (split squad games home and away vs. Pittsburgh).
Blue Jackets news
Did you catch our Top 25 Under 25 series? If so, you can catch up on everything here.
The Blue Jackets will be on national TV ten times this season. That’s good! Seven of those will be exclusively streaming on Hulu and ESPN+. That’s not great! Three games will be on real TV: December 7 vs. Buffalo and January 25 at Edmonton on TNT, and January 5 vs. Washington on ESPN. One of the more compelling streaming matchups is Gaudreau’s return to Calgary on January 23.
The growth of hockey in Columbus continues, with the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets adding a U14 girls team. It’s great to see them get this opportunity. Best of luck to them this season!
Patrik Laine attended the Cincinnati Bengals season opener (and Joonas Korpisalo was there too, for an all-timer photobomb)
Play me out
A recent release I’ve been enjoying is the latest from Marcus King, called Young Blood. It’s great, raw, southern blues rock. Maybe some ZZ Top vibes on this record? He first caught my attention when he had a fuller band with a horn section, but he proves he can get by with sparser arrangements, too. As much as I love the blues, sometimes it can get a bit repetitive, but there’s enough variety on the album that you’re never bored. He’ll be playing at Kemba Live this Saturday night. Check out the face-melting guitar solo at 1:50 here: