Revisiting the newsletter -or- An actual hockey-related post

August 15, 2006

Four years ago, I started a Columbus Blue Jackets “newsletter” called The End of the Bench.  I put the word newsletter in quotes because although it may have been in that format, I didn’t distribute it to more than five people.

Herringbone over at Death Cab for Woody had a little update on his site recently updating everyone on my new address, and he asked when I was going to have my review of Steve Maltais’ contributions to the CBJ (0-3-3 in 26 games in the inaugural season) and the defensive prowess of Derrick Walser.

While Maltais never had a chance even with an expansion team, Walser had potential.  Late in the 2002-03 season (Vol. 1, Issue 3 if you’re counting), I had a comparison between Walser and Duvie Westcott.

At Herringbone’s request and without further delay, here were my thoughts on Derrick Walser’s defensive skills:


Youth blueline report


Derrick Walser:  Derrick is a puck moving defenseman who holds the point well on the man-advantage.  If Derrick can improve his decision making in his own zone and be a little more confident in the offensive zone, he will become a fine addition to a currently suspect blueline. 


Duvie Westcott:  Duvie has many attributes in common with Walser, but has a decided advantage in one area, he can hold his own and is not afraid to do so.  His December bouts with Sean Avery were classic battles between two budding rookies, but Duvie will surprise some people in this league with his toughness.  The Bluejackets will be looking forward to Westcott rejoining the club soon after suffering a concussion in early February.


Fast forward three years.  The blueline is still suspect (did we really re-sign Anders Erickkson???), Duvie is an established blueliner who I think will be the best defenseman in the Jackets’ system within two years, and Walser will be hoping to break into the rotation with the Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes.  Judging from the blurb on Walser over at TSN.ca, I think I made a pretty good assessment (there is a first time for everything).  Hopefully everything will work out for Derrick in Carolina.  Cason, Penalty Killer… your thoughts?

Well, there is my two posts in one day.  I didn’t want to, but Herringbone made me.

Thanks for stopping by the end of the bench.


  1. I think Walser will end up in Albany this year. Despite no real “superstars” on the blue line, the Canes are pretty deep with young talent at that position. It will be another year or two before some of those guys begin to retire or find work elsewhere (Wesley, Tverdovsky most notably). If Walser has a good camp, he has a chance of making the team as a depth defenseman, but it’s a longshot.

  2. I agree with you, Chris. Walser is probably a longshot to make the team. As he really has never been a regular in the NHL, you have to think that it’s getting to a point in his career where he is probably running out of chances. I think on the right team he could probably play a full season, but I’m not sure if Carolina is it.

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