Sure the Columbus Blue Jackets have LW Rick Nash, and Goalie Steve Mason. There is no doubt that they are two great players, but for this team to improve they need to add pieces around them. Sometimes it really is that simple. Now they enter the new NHL season, after having taken a huge step backwards last season. So they fired head man Ken Hitchcock, and will turn control on the ice over to a new head man in Scott Arniel. They had gone after Guy Boucher, but he declined once Steve Yzerman offered him a chance to turn around the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Arniel wants his team to value the puck, and that means his defensemen will have to be aggressive. He is looking to employ a high tempo system very similar to one with which eh was successful in the minor leagues. The team is hoping he is a perfect fit, but if that is to come true he must get his players to deliver on the ice.
This team’s breakout candidate may just be Defenseman Kris Russell. Russell has developed into a very nice offensive defenseman, and may just be ideally suited for the system Arniel is going to implement. Of course they also have Antoine Vermette fresh off a career year scoring 65 points a year ago.
Key Additions- D Nate Guenin, LW Ethan Moreau, and C Kyle Wilson
Key Subtractions- D Nathan Paetsch, and RW Greg Moore