Hey Blue Jackets: Slow and Steady Isn't Winning
Scott Howson made some big moves this past Summer. Trading for Jeff Carter and the rights to James Wisniewski were no small feats. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a fan of the vast majority of the roster moves he's made. I feel as if a lot of the issues are coaching and maybe chemistry among certain key players.
One thought I can't get out of my head is why the team has historically been so slow to act when it starts to become clear that a player just isn't going to fit in Columbus. Granted, it's easier said than done, but the team seems to give players much longer leashes than any other team in the league. I have to wonder if that is what leads to a "country club atmosphere" and it most certainly kills players' trade value before they eventually end up being dealt or let go through free agency.
The current hot topic is Derick Brassard. I know Howson meets with Scott Arniel on a regular basis, so if they're so down on his play, why not package him to make a trade for a defenseman (or a decent draft pick)? Instead, they give him almost no playing time, and when they do, he's paired with Cody freakin' Bass. If he's not doing the right things in practice or in games now, why do they think he's suddenly going to start performing in these circumstances?
But it's not just Brassard. It's Kris Russell. It's Nikita Filatov. Rusty Klesla. Nik Zherdev. Gilbert Brule.
After Brassard, I assume the attention will turn back to Steve Mason.
The team refuses to cut the cord. Only in the case of Zherdev did the team get anything of value back.
Does Scott Howson or Scott Arniel really believe Brassard is going to put things together? Steve Mason?
If the answer is yes: I'd have to strongly disagree. Brassard hasn't been the same since his shoulder injury. Mason hasn't been the same since his rookie year.
If the answer is no: What are you waiting for? If you say a 4th round pick in 2014, you're probably right.