Brian Campbell is not coming here

June 23, 2008

Brian Campbell is not coming here.  In fact, I also find it unlikely that Marian Hossa will want to play for the Jackets, even though OSU has a thriving Czech and Slovakian department.  So maybe it’s time for Blue Jacket fans to look at reality, a reality that is going to sting.

As it became painfully obvious this draft weekend, the team does not have anything of value (players) that it can deal away as it rebuilds the wreckage from Doug MacLean.  But what should also be visible is that the team is not much better than they were last year, while others around us (Chicago, Phoenix) are getting better at a faster pace.  All the draft picks and plentiful salary cap money cannot get this team better in a season or two.  And we are only coming upon that first season.

Last year, I believe that Scott Howson watched Ken Hitchcock work with the players he had, seeing if there were some gems in the mix that could play at the level needed for the team to make the playoffs.  As we all know, the team tried hard most of the time and Hitchcock and the staff worked inhuman hours trying to find something that would work, but the improvements showed that the team was two or three years behind schedule.  The truth is that the team is not going to be ready in October to make a run for the playoffs, unless another team falls back and the Jackets can pull ahead.  Of the eight Western Conference teams that made the playoffs, perhaps Colorado may slip if Joe Sakic retires and Adam Foote can’t find his leadership act.  Maybe Nashville will lose a few games to Columbus this year, but that would defy the laws of probability.  As for the other seven teams who are members of the same club as Columbus, I see improvements in each one save Vancouver and Los Angeles.

So this coming season might even be more difficult to accept for us local fans because it may be a duplicate of the one that just finished.  The team will be in the hunt until March, winning some games against Detroit and Dallas, but not winning against the Chicago’s and the Edmonton’s and the Wild, teams that must be beaten in order to sell tickets in May.

I think I can be patient once again, but I can’t take all the talk out there regarding trades that don’t exist or acquisitions that aren’t even considered outside the 614 area code.  If you want to read that kind of stuff, there are plenty of places to do so around here, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that it might come true because you read it.

The local press is reluctant to say negative things about Columbus and its institutions.  The Blue Jackets are one of those institutions (for the time being) and I am glad that I’m not bombarded with a constant stream of bad/negative news.  But I also don’t want to have smoke blown up my ass all the time, hearing that a certain star is looking to play here or that the team is a center away from dominating the Central Division.  It’s going to be tough and progress might be two more seasons away, Columbus fans.



  1. What negativism. You don’t have to wear rose colored glasses, but if I want to read how bad things are, I’ll read the Dispatch or watch the network news. Yes, Brian Campbell is probably not coming to Columbus but someone is and whoever that (those)someone(s) are will definately improve the Jackets. Not to mention R.J, the possibility of Vorachek, Brassard and maybe (yes maybe) Filatov, the Jackets WILL be better. I’m not saying that they will win the west or anything close, but inspite of the Phoenix improvements I haven’t seen anything else except maybe St. Louis that looks to be a significant improvement.

    Chicago still has problems in goal, Nashville is still Nashville and will be very competitive, I haven’t seen any great improvement in any of the western Canadian teams, San Jose might loose a great D manand maybe a center, LA still going to hang around the bottom, Anaheim will still play tuff, Detroit will remain one of the best, Dallas will remain one of the top teams, Minnesota the jury is out until after free agency and Colorado is probably going to be about the same so inspite of your doom and gloom, the Jackets will be an improved team and will be competitive.

    Your whole commentary is about not having anything to trade. Well, that may or maynot be true (draft picks are still a valued asset) but trading is not the primary direction at this point in time, free agency is, and the Jackets will be in there swinging. There are a number of players out there, not just the Hossas and Campbells that would be great additions to the Jackets.

    I think before you relegate the Jackets to the bottom, you should at least wait until mid July (and don’t be surprised if someone is not picked up in August) to see what the team looks like that will probably take the ice (even that might be early with some young guns a definite possibility to make the team.)

    I don’t remember reading or hearing that the Jackets are “. . . a center away from dominating the Central Division”, but I do remember that they are saying the Jackets are 3-4 players away from the playoffs. We have one, and will be looking for the other 2-3 starting tomorrow at noon. That is a big difference.

  2. I’m just sick of all the doom and gloom from people who seem to expect that Howson can just wave a magic wand and get any player to come to Columbus. And that if he couldn’t get Ovechkin for Fritsche, Tollefsen, and a 4th, he sucks.

    And lord help me, the talk of “at least Doug Maclean could pull off a big trade.” Have people forgotten why the team is in the position of being several top line players away from being legitimate playoff contenders and without the assets to trade and fill those holes?

    Although in retrospect, perhaps the worst legacy Doug left us is making the team just competitive enough to always draft outside the top two or three, so we never get a shot at the Heatleys, Ovechkins, Kanes of the world…

  3. Negative writers spend whole blogs ripping Ron Hainsey about his play or complaining that Scott Howson couldn’t sign Ryan Malone or Brian Campbell. I have never hid my poor opinions of Adam Foote, Duvie Westcott, or Alexander Picard, but I stay pretty even on the players and staff. Of course, I save most of my energy for Doug MacLean, who should write a book, “Ruining Hockey Franchises for Dummies”.

    I hated it last year when The Dispatch ran stories telling me that David Vyborny was headed to NY Rangers or some other place. It was all an unsubstantiated dream and they should have been honest with us. The same goes for other bloggers, Sarah excluded, of course.

    I appreciate your comments and thank you both for reading me, but I am not in the same league as some of the other local bloggers. I am catching a flight back home right now and will post more on your comments and the CBJ cornering the market on shut-down defensemen later. Thanks again.

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