Did everyone have fun yesterday? Good. So did we.
It was a great launch to our Mystery Opponent contest, and it continues today with the second installment of the "scavenger hunt" on CBJ Today.
All you have to do is fill out the form provided below (and make sure you have the correct answer!) to enter the contest. The prize? Winner and a guest get to enjoy the game against said opponent from either a luxury suite or glass seats, depending on the game.
Without further ado, let's get it started.
The rules are the same as yesterday, and the prize is similar: the winner gets two (2) tickets in a luxury suite to a game against today's mystery opponent at Nationwide Arena this upcoming season. Fill out the form completely, hit "submit" and you're good to go.
Click here for the hints and to submit your entry >>
We alluded to it yesterday, and now, the time has come.
In appreciation of you joining the battle with us and helping to #DefendNWA, we're giving you the opportunity to win tickets in a luxury suite or glass seats to select games on the 2012-13 NHL schedule.
It's just another example of why Blue Jackets fans rock: take a look at Twitter, and log on to Facebook. Our #DefendNWA avatars are all over the place, and the cover photos are being uploaded left and right.
And how about the message from James Wisniewski in the video shown above? Pretty awesome.
On to the contest...
Click here to submit your official entry!
When you "like" something on Facebook, it's a pretty strong indication that you either (surprise) like that item or approve of it.
Along those same lines: what if we told you a simple "like" of the official Blue Jackets Facebook page meant you get an exclusive opportunity to buy single-game tickets *ahead* of the Aug. 29 on-sale date?
Now that you're all-ears, I'll continue.
It's pretty simple. All you have to do is log on to Facebook - and if you're like most of us at work, you already are :) - and head straight to the Blue Jackets official page.
Get all the details on how to gain exclusive access here >>
Without a doubt, one of the highlights of the 2011-12 Blue Jackets season was James Wisniewski's overtime winner at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The goal signaled an abrupt end to a spirited game in which the Blue Jackets trailed early, led late, and eventually left the building with two points.
It was Columbus' first victory at Bridgestone since April 3, 2006 -- and it's also the basis of this week's trivia. Fill out the form below for your chance to win awesome #CBJ swag, and make sure you know your Blue Jackets history!
Started in 2010 by a few dedicated members of the Blue Jackets social media community, the event that would later be known as "CannonFest" was intended to be a late-summer gathering of hockey fans starved for some puck talk.
It just so happened that Greg May (blogger at Full Mental Jackets) owns a few local restaurant franchises, and one located in Grandview turned out to be the ideal location. It was a great sight: in the dog days of summer, the entire room was filled with Blue Jackets jerseys, hats, t-shirts and other apparel -- and training camp was over a month away.
Fast forward to August 19, 2012: in the third and most recent installment of CannonFest, the event was the biggest and best yet. Co-organizers May, Matt Wagner (SB Nation's The Cannon blog) and Tom Fellrath (Dark Blue Jacket) expected such a large turnout that they used electronic ticketing to track the number of RSVPs, and they pushed it to the fire marshal's limit with over 300 people in attendance.
NOTE: Excellent work by CBJ fan Adam Heineman (@adam_33) in designing the official CannonFest logo!
Read the full CannonFest story here >>
Hockey players are often encouraged to "leave it all on the ice," but if there's one thing Cam Atkinson always brings with him off the ice, it's his heart.
There's a reason why Blue Jackets fans were instantly captivated by the energetic 23-year-old from Riverside, Conn., and a large part of that is his infectious personality. Atkinson is the definition of a people-person, never shy in talking with fans and signing as many autographs as he can.
And it was those interactions with fans during his first NHL season that inspired him to give back.
Atkinson is partnering with the Marty Lyons Foundation this weekend for an event called "Keep Hope Alive," which is engineered to raise money for the foundation and bring joy to the lives of children battling illness. Lyons, a former NFL defensive tackle with the New York Jets in the 1970s and 1980s, started the foundation after forming a special relationship with a terminally ill child during his playing career.
Read the full story here >>
Editor's note: This is the latest installment of a weekly column from BlueJackets.com writer Rob Mixer, which will be featured exclusively on the CBJ Today blog. Be sure to follow Rob on Twitter at @RobMixer.
Even before free agency opened a year ago, the Blue Jackets made James Wisniewski their primary target.
With determined effort to upgrade the skill on the blue line, GM Scott Howson swung a trade with the Montreal Canadiens to acquire the negotiating rights to Wisniewski a few days prior to July 1. In a market with two prime defensemen (Wisniewski and Christian Ehrhoff, who would eventually sign in Buffalo), Howson knew it was imperative to make a strong impression on the 28-year-old Michigan native.
It didn't take long to realize the feeling was mutual. Wisniewski drove down to Columbus from his summer home and got a first-hand look at the Blue Jackets facilities and spent a lot of time at Nationwide Arena, getting to know staff and even meeting a few of his soon-to-be teammates. The six-year deal he signed less than hour before the official start of free agency provided yet another building block for the Blue Jackets, but misfortune struck before the regular season got under way.
Wisniewski was involved in an incident during a preseason game in Minnesota, in which he got tangled up with Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck near the blue line. The NHL's Department of Player Safety ruled heavily on the matter, and though Clutterbuck was not injured, Wisniewski was suspended for a total of 12 games (including the first eight of the regular season).
While it's not accurate to place the club's sluggish start solely on Wisniewski's absence, the Blue Jackets desperately missed his puck-moving ability and that rocket shot from the point. He made his regular-season debut on Oct. 25 vs. the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena, on a night when Columbus earned its first victory of the season.
There were some memorable moments along the way (how about the thrilling overtime winner at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville?), but for the most part, 2011-12 was a season to forget for both Wisniewski and the Blue Jackets. Two significant injuries -- a facial injury and a broken ankle -- limited his playing time the rest of the way, and Wisniewski was only able to see time in 48 games. But in those 48 games, he was an impact player: Wisniewski tallied six goals and 21 assists in that span, which roughly equates to a 45-point pace over a full season.
The year before he joined the Blue Jackets, Wisniewski totaled 51 points -- good enough to place him in the top-five for defense scoring in the NHL.
And in order to get off to a better start in 2012-13 and get the Blue Jackets on the winning side of the ledger, they will need a healthy and productive Wisniewski to help make it happen.
He can be a game-breaker when he's on top of his game, and at times last year, the Blue Jackets and their fans caught glimpses of Wisniewski's elite skill level with the puck. He can bomb the one-timer or make a quick, deft pass in traffic that gets the puck out of trouble and up the ice in transition.
If he's in the lineup and contributing on a regular basis, the Blue Jackets will be a much better team not only on the power play, but also at even strength.
Say, for discussion's sake, the Blue Jackets go with the following defense pairs:
Tyutin - Nikitin
Johnson - Wisniewski
Murray/Moore - Aucoin
With a healthy Wisniewski in the mix from the get-go, they will have their No. 1 power play unit set -- and with Johnson being a left-handed shot and Wisniewski right-handed, they should also set up well for one-timers across the blue line. In previous years, the Columbus defense employed a bevy of left-handed shooters, making the point men easier to defend and the threat of one-timers was not as prevalent.
At the end of last season, we got to see (at least a preview) of what Wisniewski and Johnson can do when paired together on the power play. They make the puck sing on the back end, opening up passing and shooting lanes with their footwork and vision -- something the Blue Jackets power play had been missing for a long, long time.
We're only a couple of months away from the 2012-13 season getting started, and as much as Blue Jackets fans are excited to get the ball rolling, you can bet no one is more eager than James Wisniewski.
Ah, Trivia Tuesday. It seems like it was just yesterday when we last convened for our weekly intellectual challenge.
We're going to throw a wrinkle into this week's question, but don't worry. It's nothing too complicated and mostly just a reversal. Instead of asking for a number or a statistic from a player as the trivia answer, we're going to flip it around for this week: we're going to give you the number or the story line, and you have to name the player.
One clue: the answer is a former Blue Jackets player. That's all you get this time around!
Per usual, make sure you fill out the entire form below and hit "submit" to officially enter the Trivia Tuesday contest. We're notifying winners from previous weeks, so if you get a note from us, you can be expecting your prize very soon!
Another hint: the picture above may have something to do with the "swag" we're giving away to trivia winners...
Click here to fill out the form for you chance to win!
Players like R.J. Umberger are hard to come by, and the Blue Jackets are fortunate enough to have acquired another of a similar ilk this summer.
Since his arrival in Columbus four years ago, Umberger went from seldom-used winger in Philadelphia to an all-situations, multi-positional forward with the Blue Jackets -- and it seemingly began right off the bat. Following a breakout performance in the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs with the Flyers, Umberger was dealt to Columbus and quickly signed a four-year deal, which was followed up by a five-year extension in 2011.
Just over a week ago, the Blue Jackets received Brandon Dubinsky as part of a package from the New York Rangers in exchange for Rick Nash. He's not the exact same player as Umberger, but there are a lot of similarities in their games, and it shouldn't come as a surprise if they line up together once the 2012-13 season begins.
Read the full story here >>
Pumped for tonight's "Before the Battle" on FOX Sports Ohio?
Like to tweet, and win awesome CBJ prizes? Well, you've come to the right place. All you have to do is tweet at us (@BlueJacketsNHL) and let us know what you think of the show! We go behind-the-scenes with the Blue Jackets coaches, management and more during the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh and during free agency earlier this month -- it's chock full of never-before-seen footage that Blue Jackets fans are sure to enjoy!
Winners will be selected at random. It could be YOU, just use the hashtag #CBJBTB and send us your feedback on tonight's show!