Shrapnel - 11/11/11

First: To all those who have served or are serving to protect their country, thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your dedication, and thank you for protecting us. If you are currently deployed, I hope for your safe return to your family and friends as soon as possible.

Normally I'd jump into links from there, but amid all the chaos of last night I read something that I think summed up everything that the community is feeling right now, so I asked the author if she'd mind me reposting it verbatim. She agreed. So, I'm turning the mic over to Dannielle Browne.

Dear Blue Jackets,

This is an open letter not to the marketing, the ownership, or the front office, but instead to the 23 players who call themselves the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Why are you doing this to us?

I don’t know if I love anything as much as I love Blue Jackets hockey. I live for jumping up at the sight of the puck in the net and the red light, for chanting LEO!, for pregame drinks with my friends at RBar, for the boys in Union Blue. I don’t expect Stanley Cups or conference finals or blow outs every night, all I ask for is that you guys show up every night and give it your best effort. I dedicate a large majority of my disposable income to you and drive four hours round trip on game nights, and I am watching you make more money in one season that I will ever make in my life. I make sacrifices to watch this team play. I used to drive almost six hours and 500 miles round trip to watch games and still managed to make it to 13 games in one season.

I’m from Cincinnati. I’m used to loveless relationships with teams. The Bengals, anyone? I watched the Reds in some of their worst stretches of baseball (2010 was like a surreal, out of body experience). I know the feeling of loving a team who has no interest in loving you back. It’s like the love of your life cheating on you and then dumping you at the altar in front of your entire family. It’s embarrassing and it hurts.

I’m losing my love, Blue Jackets. I’m losing the will to keep dumping my energy and finances into something that leaves me embarrassed and in tears. This is not a bad team made up of bad players. The difference between this team and Loveable Losers of the past is that the ownership and management cared enough to wheel and deal for something different and better. There are a lot of solid players on this team and a lot of guys who are going to be amazing when they get a little older and stronger.

There is simply no excuse for any of this. Management gave you the pieces.

You are better than this, and I hope you realize that before it is too late.

Sincerely and painfully,

The big news, if that's the word, after last night's loss was the trade of Kris Russell to the St. Louis Blues for Nikita Nikitin. Since the Dispatch was less than helpful in talking about the new acquisition, here's a profile from the guys at St. Louis Game Time.

In all honesty, I like the sound of a strong first pass, good mobility, and two way ability. I'm pretty 'meh' about inconsistent effort, an inaccurate shot, and the fact that he doesn't seem to be reaching his potential yet, but on the other hand I'd like to hope that a fresh start might work for him, too.

The loss of Kris Russell will hurt a lot of people. I liked him, too. But at this point, changes need to happen, and I don't doubt reports that Scott Howson is still working this morning. You can see other reactions at PHT and Martini Hockey.

Reactions to last night's game are better presented at in digest form - you can already guess a lot of what they will say:

At Carry The Flag, they looked at a week in the madness, while The Hockey News is calling for the Jackets to move Rick Nash.

Normally I'd take a look at more NHL wide news, but for the moment, I think it's better to leave things here, and hope that perhaps we'll have better news soon.

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