OFF-SEASON PLAYER ADDITIONS
Nate Guenin, D (Signed as a free agent, previously with the St. Louis Blues)
Ben Guite, C (Signed as a free agent, previously with the Nashville Predators)
David LeNeveu, G (Signed as a free agent, previously with EC Salzburg of
Ethan Moreau, LW (Claimed off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers)
Kyle Wilson, C (Signed as a free agent, previously with the Washington Capitals)
OFF-SEASON PLAYER LOSSES
Brendan Bell, D (Signed with Avangard Omsk of the KHL)
Dan Lacosta, G (Unsigned Free Agent)
Kevin Lalande, G (Signed with Vityaz
Jordan LaVallee, LW (Signed with the
David Liffiton, D (Signed as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche)
Greg Moore, RW (Signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers)
Nathan Paetsch, D (Signed as a free agent with the Florida Panthers)
Andrei Plekhanov, D (Unsigned Free Agent)
2009-10 Season Finish: 5th Central Division, 14th Western Conference, 79 Pts.
2009-10 Playoffs: Did Not Make Playoffs
2010-11 Prediction: 5th Central Division, 13th Western Conference
After making the playoffs for the first time in 2009, the Columbus Blue Jackets were expected to have a fine 2009-10 season, but the team struggled throughout the season and could not get things going, eventually finishing near the bottom of the Western Conference. The Blue Jackets did little to improve their team from last season and could be faced with another disappointing season in 2010-11. The team’s offense has remained nearly intact from the end of last season, and looks to be the strongest part of the team going into the 2010-11 season. Rick Nash brings lots of goal-scoring skill, size, and some toughness to the lineup, while Kristian Huselius provides plenty of offensive depth and playmaking skills to the forward lines despite being somewhat inconsistent, and Jakub Voracek has good offensive skills and some goal-scoring upside. R.J. Umberger gives the team plenty of offensive depth and good shooting skills, while Antoine Vermette, Sami Pahlsson, and Derick Brassard bring plenty of two-way skill and speed to the Blue Jackets. Chris Clark and newcomer Ethan Moreau bring plenty of grit, leadership, and veteran depth to the roster, while Jared Boll, Derek Dorsett, and Tommy Sestito provide lots of toughness and physical play to the forward lines. Andrew Murray and Michael Blunden bring good size, defensive abilities, and shutdown skills to the team’s offense, while Nikita Filatov gives the Blue Jackets a slick skater with some offensive skill and upside. Prospect forwards who will be looking to make the team at training camp include Ryan Johansen, Tomas Kana, Matt Calvert, Tomas Kubalik, and Maksim Mayorov.
While the Blue Jackets boast a fairly stable offense, their defense looks to be the weakest part of the team. The addition of a top-four, puck-moving defenseman with some offensive skill would help make the Blue Jackets a more competitive team back on the blueline. For now, their defensive corps still boasts some veteran and impressive young talent. Mike Commodore provides plenty of size, grit, and defensive skill on the team’s defense, while Rostislav Klesla brings some toughness and a little scoring upside to the blueline. Fedor Tyutin gives the Blue Jackets a defenseman with good size who can play a shutdown role and log lots of minutes, while Jan Hejda brings plenty of puck-moving skill and defensive depth to the blueline. Anton Stralman brings plenty of offensive ability and puck-moving skill to the team’s defense, while Marc Methot gives the Blue Jackets a stay-at-home defenseman with some size. Kris Russell provides some offensive and puck-moving skill to the team, while Grant Clitsome brings a little defensive depth to the blueline. Defensive prospects that will look to secure a roster spot at training camp include John Moore, Nick Holden, Michael Ratchuk, Brett Regner, and Ted Ruth.
The Blue Jackets have a fairly steady goaltending duo in Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon, who will both look to keep the team competitive in net throughout the 2010-11 campaign. Despite struggling in his second season in 2009-10, Mason has excellent positioning, lots of size, and has lots of potential to become an elite goalie at the NHL level. Garon plays very hard on the ice and has a decent glove hand, making him an effective backup for the team. David LeNeveu provides some depth in goal for the Blue Jackets, but will likely spend most of the 2010-11 season in the minors, unless Garon or Mason should be sidelined with an injury.
- Lots of quality prospect forwards.
- Strong goaltending.
- Plenty of defensive defensemen on the blueline.
- Need more offense on their defense.
- Need some of their forwards to be more consistent this season.
- Could use some more veteran depth on defense.