This is a slightly less straightforward CBJ 2013 Review article, so I hope you’ll allow me to develop this a bit. In the previous two posts, I reflected on who I thought was the team’s most valuable player, and which forwards were best for the Jackets. Today I’d like to consider something less definitive, but something that inspires me to follow the team ever closer in the next few years.
In a way, it all starts with the trade of Rick Nash. That move was a complex issue for me and something I tackled at the time. In short, Nash is (present tense) my favorite player and it was a shame to see that kind of scoring skill leave the team, but the return was good (and you’ll note Dubinsky in particular lived up to expectations for me). On the surface, things weren’t perfect but they were respectable.
However, the philosophical change troubled me more and more as the season progressed. The new mantra was (seemingly) that no one player would stand above the others, that the scoring would no longer flow through a single source. While many took this as the club turning a new leaf, the dispersion of goal responsibility was very worrisome to me. The team had suddenly become a squad of third liners with the occasional second liner and a few down-the-road performers (Johansen, Atkinson, Jenner). Continue reading