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The Essentials: Columbus Blue Jackets Edition

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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(This month, Puck Daddy asked bloggers for every NHL team to tell us The Essentials for their franchises — everything from the defining player and trade, to the indispensable fan traditions. Here is the crew from Dark Blue Jacket, giving us The Essentials for the Columbus Blue Jackets.)

By Dark Blue Jacket

The Dark Blue Jacket blog writing team of DBJ, Gallos and Alex respectfully submit the following "Essential" Columbus Blue Jackets items for the hockey world's review and consideration. Having a team that has only made the playoffs once in its 11 seasons (and we're still waiting for the first playoff win...), there's a fascinating combination of simplicity, complexity and humor in compiling a list of that which is truly essential about Columbus Blue Jackets hockey.

Enjoy the ride, everyone.

Player

DBJ: Rick Nash. Came in when the team was still in its expansion phase, took them to the playoffs and bailed out rather than hang around for the rebuild once the team hit the cellar. (Like too many fans, sadly.)

Season

Alex: 2008-09, they made the playoffs, duh.

Game

Gallos: Game 4 in the playoffs against Detroit. I have been in the horseshoe, when Ohio State was playing Lou Holtz's Notre Dame and Eddie George put the team on his back and started the run to the Heisman trophy. The atmosphere in the 'Shoe was electric, but absolutely did not hold a candle to the atmosphere in Nationwide Arena that day. The loudest, most explosive, craziest sporting event I have ever been to, bar none. It was absolutely electric, and I long for more.

Goal

Alex: Nash's playoff-clinching goal is probably the way to go, even though his insane highlight-reel goal against Phoenix is still my favorite. To me it's essential CBJ because it was a great goal, but ultimately meant nothing.

Trade

DBJ: Jeff Carter to LA/Jakub Voracek and 1st rounder (Sean Couturier) to Philadelphia/Jack Johnson and LA's 2013 1st rounder to Columbus. This actually was two trades, but Columbus fans look at them as one extended personnel move. (We're used to drawn-out personnel actions. Rick Nash was trade bait forever, you know. Can you believe nobody wanted to give up a Stanley Cup-winning roster?)

Point being, Columbus fans are highly bullish on Jack Johnson. Don't be surprised if he's sporting the "C" in C-bus real soon.

Unsung Hero

Gallos: Ken Hitchcock. The dude wrested a team of nobodies and Nash onto a course that ultimately led to their first playoff appearance. He did this with sheer strength of will, hard work, and hockey acumen. Until the franchise villain did his thing (see next) Hitch had this group of nobodies chasing the playoffs. He deserved a Jack Adams for that year, though there was no way he was going to get it. It was an amazing coaching job. His ending in Columbus was ignominious, as he hung around under contract after the idiot GM fired him. He finally got his due in St. Louis this year, winning the long deserved coach of the year.

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Franchise Villain

DBJ: Adam Foote. With all due respect to Jeff Carter (who didn't sign here, never wanted to play here, etc.), Carter wasn't the team captain that had a plane waiting at the airport after rolling his franchise over a barrel. Foote can keep his Stanley Cup rings - he's persona non grata in Columbus.

Fight

Alex: Derick Brassard vs. James Neal on 12/18/2008. Ill-advised fight that ended his excellent rookie season prematurely with a separated shoulder. He has never been the same since.

Coach

DBJ: Ken Hitchcock. He figured out a way to get this franchise to the playoffs. Nobody else has come close. 'Nuff said.

Broadcaster

DBJ: George Matthews. You have absolutely no idea what the CBJ radio play-by-play voice is saying, but you sure as heck have a good time listening to him. He gets downright apoplectic when the Blue Jackets score.

Arena Tradition

Gallos: The Cannon, baby. The freakin' Cannon. Other teams hate it. 'Nuff said.

Arena Food

Gallos: $9 Beer. Say no more.

Swag

DBJ: The new 3rd sweater. Put Boomer aside (as he unfortunately debuted at the same time) ... the new jerseys (color scheme, cannon logo, etc.) have pretty much taken the fanbase by storm.

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Previously On Puck Daddy

The Essentials: New York Islanders edition

The Essentials: Boston Bruins edition

The Essentials: Colorado Avalanche Edition

The Essentials: Dallas Stars Edition

The Essentials: Washington Capitals Edition

The Essentials: Anaheim Ducks Edition

The Essentials: Montreal Canadiens Edition

The Essentials: Detroit Red Wings Edition

The Essentials: Ottawa Senators Edition

The Essentials: New Jersey Devils Edition

The Essentials: Phoenix Coyotes Edition

The Essentials: Florida Panthers Edition

The Essentials: Los Angeles Kings Edition

The Essentials: Carolina Hurricanes

The Essentials: Pittsburgh Penguins

The Essentials: San Jose Sharks

The Essentials: New York Rangers

The Essentials: Edmonton Oilers Edition

The Essentials: Tampa Bay Lightning Edition

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