Jared Bednar will do his best to get Zach Werenski into the mix right away.
He only met his newest defenseman on Tuesday morning when Werenski drove to Cleveland from Ann Arbor with his dad, shortly after signing an amateur tryout contract with the Monsters and then his entry-level deal with the Blue Jackets.
And though it’s been a short time together so far, Bednar knows this about the 18-year-old Michigan product: he is “an elite talent” with skills on both ends of the rink, and while there will be an adjustment to the professional game, he expects him to get up to speed quickly.
Werenski will make his professional debut tonight against the Chicago Wolves, wearing No. 8 on defense for the Monsters as they continue their playoff chase in the AHL’s Western Conference.
Alright, so you're Boone Jenner.
In the first period of tonight's game, you're doing your job and headed toward the opposition's net when an errant puck deflects directly into your mouth.
Making matters worse? It's Monday.
Making them even worse? A puck to the mouth hurts (a lot, and this is coming from someone who tweets for a living), and it resulted in the loss of a few teeth and about 20 stitches, according to Blue Jackets assistant coach Brad Larsen.
No sooner had Joonas Korpisalo finish Friday night's game at Quicken Loans Arena than he was packing his bag once again.
The 21-year-old goaltender was summoned to Columbus early Saturday on emergency recall, his first stint back with the Blue Jackets since being assigned 10 days ago. The "emergency condition" is an injury to Curtis McElhinney suffered in practice, one that is expected to keep him out of action for some time.
John Tortorella said Saturday morning that McElhinney's injury is to his knee. More information regarding his status and prognosis could come later in the day.
The Blue Jackets will be without defenseman Dalton Prout after he was suspended Tuesday by the National Hockey League.
In a video released by the NHL's Department of Player Safety, Prout received a one-game suspension for a punch to an unsuspecting opponent (Tampa's Nikita Kucherov) on Sunday afternoon at Nationwide Arena.
Prout will miss Thursday's game against the Red Wings in Columbus and is eligible to return Mar. 19 at home against New Jersey.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Prout will forfeit $5,779.57. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
With the NHL’s trade deadline looming at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, the Blue Jackets have made their first move.
According to multiple reports, forward Rene Bourque was placed on waivers by the club at noon on Sunday. Should he clear waivers at noon ET Monday, the Blue Jackets have some options with their roster, which currently has 22 of its 23 allotted spots occupied.
If unclaimed, they can keep Bourque on the roster and it’s business as usual. They can also trade him if a deal comes about, or, assign him to the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL). Any team that claims Bourque on waivers is responsible for the balance of his salary this season, as he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The Blue Jackets weren't keen on having Michael Paliotta "around" just to take in the scenery.
When they recalled him from the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday afternoon, the plan was for Paliotta to make his Columbus debut today vs. the Florida Panthers. Not only is the 22-year-old native of Westport, Conn., excited to get into the lineup, but the Blue Jackets are anxious to see what he can bring.
John Tortorella knows only his name, and for now, that's how he prefers to keep it.
Paliotta was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in the deal that brought Brandon Saad to Columbus. GM Jarmo Kekalainen said at the time that Paliotta's inclusion in the trade was a significant factor in getting it done.
Injuries gutted what was supposed to be a promising year for Ryan Murray in 2014-15.
And he wasn't the only one; the Blue Jackets lost an unprecedented number of man games to injury a season ago and their hopes for taking another step forward were challenged before the season even began.
Murray was one of the players hit hardest, limited to only 12 games and never getting into a groove each time he returned. It was so frustrating that Murray didn't want to talk about it even after he was given a clean bill of health before this training camp, choosing instead to focus on what was ahead.
And anyone you ask about this young player will tell you: he's as smooth and intelligent as they come.
What you still have to remind yourself is that Murray is only 22 years old and this, really, is only his second full NHL season. He was joined in early January by another building block on the back end when the Blue Jackets traded for Seth Jones, and those two have been a consistent pairing in month-plus since the deal.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Home.
We touched down in the capital city shortly after 3 p.m. local time, putting a bow on a five-day road trip through three cities, two provinces and two time zones (three if you count EST). It was entertaining, enlightening, beneficial, and above all else, fun.
I was able to blog from each of the three western Canadian cities on the trip, hopefully giving you a bit of a peek into what it’s like “out there.” We started in Edmonton, Alberta, which is flat as the summer day is long, but it’s also a town that (for some reason) gets a bit of a bad rap around the league.
Yeah, yeah, so we spent 30 or so hours in Edmonton, but I thought it was a fine town and one that was a cool place to spend a couple of days.
VANCOUVER – We all have fears. Every single one of us. And if you say that you don’t, you’re lying.
So just to get this out there, I have two solidified fears: snakes top the list in any way, shape or form. Snakes in the toilet, snakes in the sky (admittedly less likely than the first), snakes in the ducts of my downtown loft, snakes waiting around every single corner.
And second on the list, we have “insecure or unstable environments at a significant elevation.”
Okay, so it’s a rather precise thing to fear, but once you’ve experienced it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
According to Dictionary.com, a gondola is defined as “a passenger compartment suspended beneath a balloon or airship.” In Edmonton and Calgary, they refer to their press boxes as gondolas (or maybe they don’t officially, but people around the arena call them gondolas) because there are similarities between the two – except for the balloon or airship thing.
For someone who has the fears outlined above, it’s an absolute nightmare.
But, as they say, face your fears!
You’ve never seen someone with legs as short as mine make them seem even shorter. My strides were separated by maybe two inches when I walked up the metal stairs at Rexall Place and over the connecting bridge to the press seating.
The walk takes you over top of the upper bowl and the press box hangs, suspended, on the same eye level as the suites. It’s weird, terrifying, and cool all at the same time.
If you’re not blinded by fear you can feel the gondola move beneath your feet. That’ll wake you up.
Another arena with a suspended press box is Madison Square Garden (it’s called the Chase Bridge), and it’s eerily similar to Rexall Place. The best part about these setups, though, is the view of the ice; you’re right on top of the rink, peering down to the ice surface with a perfect perspective on the action.
Here’s another good thing about gondolas: no snakes.
Tonight’s vantage point at Rogers Arena is more traditional, your standard press box. It’s the ideal setup for tomorrow night in Calgary, where at the Scotiabank Saddledome, we’re teed up for one of the “most terrifying walks in hockey” as someone described to me this week.
So, what’s the best way to handle this irrational and slightly embarrassing fear?
The only way a true digital and social media professional knows how: record it on my iPhone.
VANCOUVER -- If there’s a cooler and more beautiful city on this continent, don’t tell me. And if you do, I will disagree.
Shortly after midnight Pacific time (while you were all soundly asleep back home in Columbus), Blue Jackets Air touched down in Richmond, British Columbia, site of the Vancouver International Airport. It’s about a 30-minute drive into downtown Vancouver from Richmond, and even in darkness, it’s gorgeous.
As soon as you hit the Granville Bridge and drive over the island and into the city, it explodes right in front of you. We came into town straight down Granville St., and if you can’t find something to do on Granville St., you’re not looking hard enough.
Vancouver’s a big city, yes, but it feels like so much more than your standard metropolis with banks, insurance companies, bad traffic and public transit.