Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jackets Find Zen (Zenter, perhaps?)

What's the song I'm looking for right now?

"Happy Days Are Here Again"?

Well, some Columbus Blue Jackets fans might dispute that "again" part, for a franchise that has made the playoffs but once in ten seasons.

"America (F--- Yeah)," from Team America?

No, that's probably too general, and frankly, Philadelphia fans probably aren't feeling so hot about it.

"Celebration," by Kool & The Gang?

No… mostly just because it's Kool & The Gang. A little too disco-ish... not very hockey at all.

You know what… never mind trying to find appropriate song for now.

Suffice it to say I'm pretty freaking happy right now as a CBJ fan. The word has come down that the Jackets have finally acquired that coveted piece of the puzzle that they have needed for… well, since the dawn of time, really.

A top-line center.

Columbus is about to find out how Jeff Carter looks in Union Blue. The Jackets snagged Carter from the Philadelphia Flyers for Jakub Voracek, the Jackets third round pick, and that first rounder that many in Columbus have debated about for the past few weeks.

What does this mean for Columbus? Well, Carter's numbers tell a pretty nice story. Carter's 36 goals for the Flyers last year were good for 7th in the league and his point total of 66 was good for 30th. He was a plus-27 last year, and only two guys in the entire league put more shots on net. His output overall over the last three seasons has been 84, 61 and 66 points.

Now put him at center on a line with Rick Nash, who has comparable stats over the last three years (79, 67 and 66 points in the last three seasons). Yes, they are just statistics, but hockey fans have seen these guys play, and there's a reason why some Philly fans were dreading this trade.

I'm hearing the goal horns already.

Yes, the contract is scary – it goes through 2022, and when that no trade clause kicks in, that's going to be a lot of heat on the Jackets.

However, this is a move that had to be made. The Jackets cannot afford to keep waiting for first round draft picks to mature and contribute to the team. Scott Howson needed help now.

Anyway you slice it, this is a bold move. This is a risky move.

However, my money says it's also a damn good move.

The Jackets just scored the NHL's first big move of the off-season. And they are just getting started.

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