Klesla suspended, and other miscellany

September 26, 2006

A lot of little things have been going on in the last week or so if you’re a CBJ fan.  Here’s what’s interesting to me:

  • Rusty Klesla has been suspended for two games for his knee to knee hit on Tuomo Ruutu (full story at CBS Sportsline).  I have mixed emotions on this one.  First of all, kneeing is dirty pool, and not acceptable under any circumstances.  Rusty probably didn’t mean to do it, but I haven’t (and likely won’t for a while) see any video so I don’t know for sure.  The suspension is warranted, for sure.  I hope that Tuomo is okay, and will be able to make it back to the ice soon.  On the other hand, perhaps this is Rusty turning the corner into a more physical defenseman.  The legacy of Adam Foote aside, the Blue Jackets don’t have a defenseman who makes you shudder at the thought of having to play against him.  I cringe when I know that the CBJ forwards have to play against very physical D-men (especially borderline dirty players like Bryan Marchment or Vitaly Vishnevski, it seems those guys are always ‘hunting’), and it would be nice to have one or two of those types of players on our bench.  Kneeing is not the way to go, but it would be nice to see a couple more checks like the one Rusty laid on a Flame last February (I wish I could find a YouTube of this). 
  • Alexander Svitov suffered a shoulder separation in Sunday’s pre-season win over the Hurricanes (full story from Columbus Dispatch) and will be out two to three weeks (yet another story from the Dispatch, here) according to reports released Monday.  It’s looking like rookie Gilbert Brule will be the top line center on opening night.  If he’s as good as everyone says, this could be a huge step for him.  I still think that the Blue Jackets will struggle to top .500 until Sergei Fedorov returns, and even that is not a guarantee (as I’m sure so many Jackets detractors will point out to me).
  • Rick Nash, Alexandre Picard, and Geoff Platt all appear on James Mirtle’s list of top pre-season scorers.  Nash is obviously a lock for the regular season roster when play starts in ten days.  Picard and Platt both received extended auditions last year, and both are apparently out to show that they’d really like to be considered for regular duty.  Picard was a first round pick in 2004, and will likely make the team either this year or next.  His bang-em-up style lacked a scoring punch last season, and his bout with vertigo probably didn’t help his cause.  Platt is a small center (5’9″, 180 lbs) who possesses quite a bit of speed.  Brian Gionta, Daniel Briere, Martin St. Louis, Steve Sullivan, and others have shown that it’s not impossible to play in the NHL if you’re undersized.  Whether Platt can develop into a player of this caliber is yet to be determined, but judging from listening to him speak and watching him play I have to think he has the proper mind set.
  • For recaps of the exhibition games, be sure to head on over to Army of the Ohio where Michael has all the action covered.
  • Jes Golbez has reset the Balastik monitor for the 2006-07 season.  Let the goal parade begin!
  • Congratulations go out to the Tigers, and to the fans (I know a few who lurk around here) that have stuck with them through the thick and thin of the last many years.  Detroit has clinched a post-season bid and will look to make it to their first World Series in over twenty years.


  1. Rusty hope you get back on the ice soon. My mom (kelly) knows you. Hope you get better soon!!! Emily loeb


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