2013 NHL Eastern Conference Preview and Projections

 

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Finally, after months and months of everyone involved being morons, causing 113 days, 625 games, and the biggest outdoor hockey game in history to be cancelled, hockey fans can finally say “Game On!”  The NHL has a new 10-year labor agreement, and is set to start the shortened, 48 game 2013 season on Saturday, January 19.  Find out what you need to know about every team in the NHL for the upcoming season, this time featuring the Eastern Conference.  Continue after the jump to find out where your team will finish in the race for a playoff spot out east.

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2013 NHL PREVIEW: CENTRAL DIVISION

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Finally, after months and months of everyone involved being morons, causing 113 days, 625 games, and the biggest outdoor hockey game in history to be cancelled, hockey fans can finally say “Game On!”  The NHL has a new 10-year labor agreement, and is set to start the shortened, 48 game 2013 season on Saturday, January 19.  Find out what you need to know about every team in the NHL for the upcoming season, this time featuring the Central Division.  Continue after the jump to find out where your team will finish.

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2013 NHL PREVIEW: ATLANTIC DIVISION

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Finally, after months and months of everyone involved being morons, causing 113 days, 625 games, and the biggest outdoor hockey game in history to be cancelled, hockey fans can finally say “Game On!”  The NHL has a new 10-year labor agreement, and is set to start the shortened, 48 game 2013 season on Saturday, January 19.  Find out what you need to know about every team in the NHL for the upcoming season, this time featuring the Atlantic Division.  Continue after the jump to find out where your team will finish.

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Columbus Blue Jackets Trade Rick Nash To New York Rangers

 

After months of will he or won’t he, the Columbus Blue Jackets have finally pulled the trigger on a Rick Nash trade, sending him to the New York Rangers.  The Blue Jackets will get forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon, and a the Rangers’ 2013 first round pick.  For more info about the trade, and how this will affect both teams going forward, continue after the jump.

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Columbus trading Rick Nash: it’s complicated!

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It’s expected that the Columbus Blue Jackets will trade their only true All-Star player and face of the franchise Rick Nash on or before the upcoming NHL Entry Draft on June 22nd.  Rumored trade discussions and speculated trading partners have been flying almost as quickly as trying to keep the hottest of DVDs on a Blockbuster ™store shelf.

And while some pundits and local observers believe this long-speculated trade of Nash is a forgone conclusion and will go down before the draft, I believe that doing so is a lot more complicated than that and I’ll explain why.

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Who’s to Blame For Columbus Blue Jackets Mess Part 2

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When I wrote Part 1 of my 2-part article outlining the ills that plague the Columbus Blue Jackets, they possessed the worst record in the National Hockey League (NHL) with a record of 0-6-1.  Since Part 1 was written, the Blue Jackets have descended to even lower depths, with a record of 2-12-1.  While the Blue Jackets did win two games since that point, more recently they have been pummeled by their opponents by a cumulative score of 19-6 over their last three games.

The Blue Jackets are a team in disrepair.  They are a team with no identity, no direction and no grit, a fragile team who shows no signs of turning around the malaise, this for a team with the 5th highest payroll in the National Hockey League (NHL).

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Why the Columbus Blue Jackets have to ‘Blow it up’

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The Columbus Blue Jackets currently sit at an abysmal 2-11-1 which not only represents the NHL’s fewest point totals, but with 14 games already played, easily represents its worst record.  The Blue Jackets have been mercilessly pounded during its last two games, 4-1 by the Toronto Maple Leafs and 9-2 by the Philadelphia Flyers, last night.

Calls to fire the Blue Jackets General Manager (GM) Scott Howson, their head coach Scott Arniel have been mounting, particularly as their payroll is the 5th highest in the NHL, according to Capgeek.com.  But the calls to fire team President Mike Priest have been the most prevalent during the last several days and with good reason.

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Columbus Blue Jackets Looking to Acquire Flyers Jeff Carter?

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The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson has been in long-term discussions with Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren since this past January. The target? Acquiring talented center Jeff Carter.

The Dispatch is also reporting that talks between the two GMs have intensified since the Flyers acquired the rights to former Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, as signing Bryzgalov will certainly command an asking price of $6 million/season.  And, for a cap-burgeoningteam like the Flyers, that leaves a noticeable asset that has to be moved in order to get under the NHL’s projected team salary cap.

While such a proposed trade might appear to be a ‘slam dunk’ move for one of the NHL’s moribund franchises, having only made one playoff appearance in their ten seasons of existence, making such a move would have even greater repercussions, as in the key to the Blue Jackets’ survival in Columbus.

By Ed Cmar

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Columbus Blue Jackets 3rd Qtr Report Card

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During the past two seasons, I assessed how the Columbus Blue Jackets performed as a team at the first quarter of the season. Sadly, as the Blue Jackets’ performance plummeted during the remaining three quarters of last season, and as the Blue Jackets nearly repeated that ignominious feat during the second quarter of this season, I honestly didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to assess their performance for the third quarter of this season.

But, boy was I wrong!

By Ed Cmar

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Explaining why Rick Nash Never Draws Any Penalties

After Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash was once again mauled, held, received several opponent’s high-sticks towards the end of a game against the Los Angeles Kings, his head coach, Scott Arniel, could no longer sit idly by and witness this continue to go on.

By Ed Cmar

Here are some of Arniel’s post-game comments:

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Columbus Blue Jackets 2nd QTR Report Card

Earlier in the season, I provided a first quarter assessment of the Columbus Blue Jackets. That was a quite easy task as the Blue Jackets stormed out of the gate to a franchise best 14-6-0 record.

But ever since the Jackets’ historic start, they have gone 6-11-3 through the next 20 games and have fallen to 13th in the Western Conference

I tried to be optimistic that a repeat of last season’s debacle under former head coach Ken Hitchock wouldn’t happen again, but I’m sad to report that while not a free-fall to that level, the Blue Jackets have once again struggled into the halfway point of their regular season under current head coach Scott Arniel.

In a manner similar to last quarter’s assessment, I offer my insights both for the season, to date, as well as how the Blue Jackets have fared during their most recent 20 games of the season (Games 21-40). And while their overall mark is better than at this time last season, the ghosts of late-November’s, December’s and early January’s have resurfaced once again.

By Ed Cmar

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Columbus Blue Jackets Unfortunately Reverting Back to Familiar Form