The Columbus Blue Jackets are dropping plenty of hints that the organization is going to shake things up. One of the most recent hints, albeit not surprising, will be changes to the roster. Pending free agents Ethan Moreau, Chris Clark, and Craig Rivet have all been notified by the Blue Jackets organization that they will not be returning to the team next season. Each of the (now former) players were brought in by Jackets management with the intention of bringing veteran leadership. In fact, each one of these players was the captain on their previous team. The announcement that each of the players will not be offered contracts could signify a change in philosophy for the team who only has one playoff appearance in franchise history.
The announcement is only the latest move that is making headlines around the league. First, the team announced they were firing their director of pro scouting and their assistant general manager. Next, they have been publically linked to rumors that have them acquiring Jeff Carter from Philadelphia in a salary dump move for the Flyers. Now we hear the team is shedding themselves of the majority of their (perceived) veteran leadership.
“… but it frees up $8.13 million in salary cap space and roughly $7.75 million in actual salary. The Blue Jackets are expecting to be aggressive in free agency, but it’s unclear if GM Scott Howson still feels as if the dressing room needs a veteran voice to steer the youngsters.
The word around the league is the Columbus Blue Jackets are going to be active participants in the free agent market. The mandate from management is to start winning more games so the team can limit the $25 million in losses they incurred last season. Instead of simply slashing payroll to save cash, the Blue Jackets are expected to make acquisitions and put a more competitive product on the ice to bring in the fans. From a fan’s perspective, you can’t ask for anything more from an ownership group.
For the veteran trifecta, it could mean the end of the road for all three. While all three have made a name for themselves around the league as great locker room guys, their productivity on the ice last season left plenty to be desired. Waiver wire pick-up Ethan Morrow was on the shelf twice with various injuries. Craig Rivet was acquired via re-entry waivers, played 14 games for the Jackets and still managed to post a minus 7. Chris Clark only managed 8 goals and 20 points in 89 games since being acquired from the Washington Capitals.
Never say never as the offseason always provides plenty of surprises. But unless there’s a team out there willing to sign a guy strictly for leadership qualities, we may have seen the last of all three players.
Crosby to celebrate 30th birthday with Stanley Cup in Nova Scotia
“Get ready, the Stanley cup is coming to town!” Crosby confirmed in the tweet sent late Tuesday night. “I will be taking Lord Stanley to the streets Monday August 7th in the Halifax-Dartmouth Natal Day parade.”
The parade, part of annual events that celebrate Halifax’s birthday, also happens to fall on the Pittsburgh Penguins captain’s 30th birthday.
Natal Day chairman Greg Hayward said he expects another 25,000 people will be lining the parade route on top of the roughly 40,000 usual attendees.
“It’s extremely exciting to think that we’re going to have Sid and the Cup in our Natal Day parade,” Hayward said Wednesday.
Crosby has shown off the Stanley Cup twice before in his hometown of Cole Harbour, just outside Dartmouth, in 2009 and 2016.
Last July, Crosby carried the Cup in the back of a pickup that made its way to an arena in Cole Harbour as thousands of cheering fans looked on in sweltering heat.
Arbitration hearing looming for Arvidsson, who broke out in big way last year
“We are pleased to have Colton as part of our group for the next five seasons,” said GM Doug Armstrong in a release. “He has made tremendous progress over the last two years and possesses all the tools to be a very good NHL defenseman.”
Obviously, the Blues paid a little more on this contract, but that’s because they were able to “buy” some of Parayko’s free-agent years.
The 24-year-old just completed his second season with the Blues. He managed to four goals, 35 points and 32 penalty minutes in 81 games.
Parayko also saw his average ice-time increase from his first year to his second year, as he played just over 21 minutes per game in 2016-17.
On top of his two solid seasons in St. Louis, he also opened some eyes at this year’s World Hockey Championship, where he had three goals and seven points in six games for Team Canada. He averaged 24 minutes of ice-time during the tournament, and Canada went on to win silver.