Columbus Blue Jackets
|Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Founded||June 25, 1997|
|History||Columbus Blue Jackets
|Home arena||Nationwide Arena|
|Colors||Blue, red, silver, white
|Media||Fox Sports Ohio
CD1025 (102.5 FM)
The Fan (97.1 FM)
|Owner(s)||John P. McConnell|
|General manager||Jarmo Kekalainen|
|Head coach||Todd Richards|
|Minor league affiliates||Lake Erie Monsters (AHL)
Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL)
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio, United States. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The Blue Jackets' name and logos were inspired by Ohio's Civil War history. The Blue Jackets play their home games at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, which opened in 2000. They are affiliated with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL and the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL.
- 1 Franchise history
- 2 Team information
- 3 Season-by-season record
- 4 Players
- 5 Team member accomplishment
- 6 Franchise scoring leaders
- 7 NHL awards and trophies
- 8 Single-season records
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
1997–2000: Building a new franchise
Prior to the establishment of the Blue Jackets, the last NHL team in the state of Ohio was the Cleveland Barons, who played from 1976–78. In Columbus, the Blue Jackets replaced the Columbus Chill of the ECHL, who played in the city from 1991–99. The Chill played at the Ohio Expo Center Coliseum where they had an 83-game sellout streak, which was a minor league hockey record at the time. In November 1996, five investors formed a partnership called Columbus Hockey Limited, who then submitted an application and a $100,000 fee to the NHL office. The voters of Columbus were considering a referendum to build a publicly financed arena, a major step toward approval of their NHL bid. When League Commissioner Gary Bettman visited Columbus to meet with the community's leaders about the franchise proposal, there was concern that the voters might not pass the needed referendum. The civic leaders told Bettman that they would not be willing to foot the bill for the team if the referendum failed. However, just after the meeting adjourned, John H. McConnell (one of those who entered the bid) privately guaranteed Bettman that an arena would be built, referendum or not.
Columbus' hopes for the bid dimmed when the May referendum failed. However, Nationwide announced on May 31, 1997, that it would finance the $150-million arena. Subsequently, on June 25, 1997, the NHL announced that Columbus would receive a new franchise. Afterwards a “Name the Team” contest was held with the help from Wendy's throughout central Ohio during the month of August 1997. Out of 14,000 submitted entries, the franchise with help from the NHL narrowed the 14,000 entries down to 10 names. Then with the information received from owner John H. McConnell regarding Columbus' history, the League and the franchise narrowed the list of potential names down to two – Blue Jackets and Justice. The former, which referenced Ohio's contributions to the American Civil War, was eventually announced as the team name in November.
On June 23, 2000, the NHL's two newest teams, the Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild, took part in the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft in Calgary, Alberta. Under the draft's rules, 26 of the NHL's active 28 teams were allowed to protect one goaltender, five defensemen, and nine forwards, or two goaltenders, three defensemen, and seven forwards. The Atlanta Thrashers and Nashville Predators both had their full rosters protected because they were the two newest teams, only being in existence for one and two years, respectively. Both the Blue Jackets and Wild had to use their first 24 selections on three goaltenders, eight defensemen, and thirteen forwards. Their final two picks could be players of any position.
With the first-overall choice, the Blue Jackets selected goaltender Rick Tabaracci from the Colorado Avalanche. Over the course of the draft, Columbus picked up goalie Dwayne Roloson, defensemen Lyle Odelein and Mathieu Schneider, and forwards Geoff Sanderson, Turner Stevenson and Dallas Drake, among others. Instead of joining Columbus, Roloson signed with the American Hockey League's Worcester IceCats, Schneider left for the Los Angeles Kings, and the St. Louis Blues signed Drake. Columbus also traded Stevenson to the New Jersey Devils to complete an earlier transaction.
The Blue Jackets and Wild were granted concessions by some franchises who could not protect their full rosters. The San Jose Sharks traded Jan Caloun, a ninth-round pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, and a 2001 conditional pick to Columbus; in return, the Blue Jackets agreed not to select the Sharks' unprotected goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. On June 24, at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Columbus selected Rostislav Klesla fourth overall.
2000–05: Early years
The Blue Jackets played their first regular-season game on October 7, 2000, a 5–3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Bruce Gardiner scored the franchise's first goal. Columbus finished with a 28–39–9–6 record for 71 points, last in the Central Division, and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Geoff Sanderson became the first player in team history to score 30 goals. Ron Tugnutt, who was signed in the summer of 2000, supplied solid goaltending with 22 wins, which tied the 74-year-old League record for wins by an expansion-team goalie (New York Rangers' Lorne Chabot also had 22 wins in 1926–27).
The Blue Jackets finished next-to-last in the NHL in the following season, with only 57 points. Ray Whitney, acquired from the Florida Panthers the previous season, led the team in scoring with 61 points, setting a franchise record. Tragedy struck the Blue Jackets organization in March 2002 when 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil was killed after a deflected puck shot by Espen Knutsen struck her in the head while she was in the stands at Nationwide Arena. As a result of her death, large nylon mesh nets were installed behind the goals in all NHL arenas to shield spectators from pucks going over the glass. The team also wore small red hearts with the initials "BNC" on their helmets.
During the off-season, the Blue Jackets traded a second-round pick (32nd overall) and Ron Tugnutt to the Dallas Stars. In return, Columbus received Dallas' first-round pick (20th overall) in the 2002 Entry Draft. On the morning of the draft, Columbus traded the third-overall pick and the option to flip draft spots in 2003 to the Florida Panthers; in return, Columbus received the first-overall pick, which they used to select Rick Nash.
The 2002–03 season started with Columbus putting up a 7–5–1–1 record after the first 14 games. However, as expectations from their fans grew higher, the team came back to mediocrity, finishing last in the Central Division for the third consecutive season and missing the playoffs once again. Dave King, who had been the team's head coach since their debut in 2000, was fired mid-season and replaced by General Manager Doug MacLean. Marc Denis was named starting goalie; he played a franchise-record 77 games that season and set a League record with 4,511 minutes played in 2002–03. He tied for second all-time for games played in a season by a goaltender, just two shy of the League record held by St. Louis Blues' Grant Fuhr in the 1995–96 season.
The 2003–04 season was another losing season for the Blue Jackets despite key additions in the offseason. Checking center Todd Marchant was signed to a five-year contract in July from the Edmonton Oilers. Defenseman Darryl Sydor, known to play strong offense as well, was acquired from the Dallas Stars for Mike Sillinger and a draft pick. MacLean stepped aside as head coach midway through the season, giving way to Gerard Gallant. The Blue Jackets finished with just 62 points (the second-lowest total in their short history), but it was enough to help them break out of last place in the Central Division for the first time, finishing ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks. Nash was one of the few bright spots for the team; his 41 goals tied Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy (as League leader in goals scored).
In the 2004 off-season, the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) and NHL administration failed to renew their collective bargaining agreement. September 14, 2004, marked the beginning of the lockout of the 2004–05 season. No games were played and the Stanley Cup was not awarded for the first time since the flu epidemic of 1919. An agreement was made on July 13, 2005, and the lockout officially ended nine days later on July 22, 2005.
2005–13: Post-lockout: Rick Nash era and rebuilding
In the summer of 2005, rugged Colorado Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote agreed to a three-year deal with the team. Heading into the 2005–06 season, it appeared the Blue Jackets would finally take the next step and make the playoffs. Instead, injuries to Rick Nash, Rostislav Klesla and Gilbert Brule, the team's 2005 first-round pick, led to the team putting up a dismal 9–25–1 record through its first 35 games. Superstar Sergei Fedorov was acquired from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks; Anaheim received Tyler Wright and Francois Beauchemin, and later claimed Todd Marchant off waivers. While again failing to make the playoffs, Columbus did manage to improve. They had the best overtime record in the NHL (14–4) and finished the season with franchise records for wins (35) and points (74). For the first time ever, they earned a third-place finish in the Central Division, behind Detroit and Nashville.
The 2006–07 season saw several changes made to the team. In the off-season, Marc Denis was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Fredrik Modin and goaltending prospect Fredrik Norrena, making way for Pascal Leclaire to take the starting job. The Blue Jackets also signed Anson Carter when it looked as if Nikolay Zherdev would be playing the season in Russia; in late September, however, Zherdev and General Manager Doug MacLean were able to reach a compromise. Partway through the season, on November 13, 2006, Gerard Gallant was relieved of his duties as head coach. The next day, Gary Agnew was named his interim replacement. On November 22, Ken Hitchcock, former coach of the Dallas Stars and Philadelphia Flyers, was named the new head coach, effective the following day. Under Hitchcock's first year, two milestones were set: on December 10, 2006, the Blue Jackets scored a team-record five power-play goals in a 6–2 win over the Ottawa Senators, and on April 3, 2007, the Blue Jackets broke the modern-day record for most times being shut-out in a season (16) with a 3–0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
On April 18, 2007, Doug MacLean, the team's first general manager and president, was fired after nine years and six seasons at the helm without a playoff berth. Mike Priest, President of Blue Jackets parent company JMAC, Inc., was named President of the club, while Assistant General Manager Jim Clark served as General Manager until the Blue Jackets named Edmonton Oilers Assistant General Manager Scott Howson as the new general manager on June 15, 2007.
The 2007–08 season, the club's first full season under Hitchcock, started off well as the Jackets got off to their best start in franchise history, starting with a 4–0 shutout of the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks. At the trade deadline on February 26, 2008, however, apparently unable to agree on a new contract and amid some controversy, Blue Jackets captain Adam Foote requested a trade to the Colorado Avalanche, which was granted. The Blue Jackets received a pair of conditional picks in return. A few weeks later, on March 12, 2008, former Blue Jackets number-one draft pick Rick Nash was named the new team captain. Despite this, Columbus managed its best season record to date, staying above a .500 game wins average until the very last game of the season and finishing fourth in the Central Division with 80 points. After the season, Nash was announced as the cover player for the NHL 2K9 video game by Take-Two Interactive.
At the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the Blue Jackets selected Nikita Filatov with the sixth overall pick. They also traded away the 19th overall pick (acquired from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Adam Foote) for R. J. Umberger.
The Blue Jackets made many trades in the 2008 off-season. Gilbert Brule was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Raffi Torres. Enigmatic forward Nikolay Zherdev and Dan Fritsche were traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman. The Blue Jackets also signed free agents Kristian Huselius and Mike Commodore to multi-year contracts.
On July 9, 2008, the Blue Jackets announced they signed Hitchcock to a three-year extension to remain as head coach.
During the 2008–09 season, the Blue Jackets made two trades which greatly played to their benefit. Forward Jason Williams was acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Clay Wilson and a sixth-round draft pick. The Blue Jackets were also involved with the first major deal of the 2009 NHL trade deadline, by trading goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a second-round draft pick to the Ottawa Senators for skilled center Antoine Vermette. The changes in scenery benefited both players and the Jackets; Williams scored 28 points in his first 36 games as a Jacket, while Vermette scored 11 points in his first 14 games with the team.
With 21 games remaining and sitting four points out of eighth in the Western Conference, the Blue Jackets dealt long time defenseman Rostislav Klesla and Dane Byers to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto at the trade deadline on February 28, 2011.
In the 2011 off-season, in an attempt to make a serious playoff run, the Blue Jackets traded Jakub Voracek, their 2011 first round pick (Sean Couturier) and a third round pick (Nick Cousins) to the Philadelphia Flyers for All-Star center Jeff Carter. They also signed several free agents: James Wisniewski, Vaclav Prospal and Radek Martinek. However, after a disastrous start to the 2011–12 season that saw the firing of head coach Scott Arniel, Carter was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Jack Johnson and a conditional first round pick after playing just 39 games with the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets also traded veteran centers Antoine Vermette and Samuel Pahlsson for goaltender Curtis McElhinney and several draft picks at the trade deadline. There was also heavy speculation that captain Rick Nash would be traded at the deadline. Although Nash wasn't traded, General Manager Scott Howson publicly announced that he had privately requested a trade, a move that has stirred up much controversy.
Nash was eventually traded to the New York Rangers on July 23, 2012, for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, prospect Tim Erixon and a 2013 first-round draft pick. At the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Blue Jackets traded their second and fourth round picks to the Philadelphia Flyers for the eventual winner of the 2013 Vezina Trophy, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
The 2012–13 lockout and season saw changes to the executive and front office of the organization. John Davidson was named as president of hockey operations for the Blue Jackets on October 24. On February 12, Scott Howson was relieved of his duties as general manager. Jarmo Kekalainen, who had previously worked with Davidson in St. Louis, was hired away from Jokerit of the Finnish SM-liiga to be the new general manager becoming the first European born General Manager in the NHL. The Blue Jackets then traded for All-Star forward Marian Gaborik. The Blue Jackets just missed the playoffs via a tiebreaker against the Minnesota Wild, who had more regulation and overtime wins (ROW).
2013–present: return to playoff contention
The Blue Jackets moved into the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference in the 2013–14 season after spending its first 13 seasons in the Central Division of the Western Conference. The other teams in the Metropolitan Division consist of the Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, the latter six of which once comprised the old Patrick Division. On April 9, 2014, the Blue Jackets clinched their second playoff spot in franchise history by winning a 3–1 game against the Dallas Stars. This game was also noted for being a game resumed after being postponed on March 10, 2014, due to Rich Peverley's cardiac event in which the Blue Jackets led 1–0. The NHL decided to keep the goal scored by Nathan Horton and resume the game with a full 60 minutes. Nathan Horton will also make history by being credited for scoring a goal while not suiting up for the game.
The Blue Jackets faced the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round (Eastern Conference Quarter-finals) of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. This series had a trend that was noted for making 3–1 leads, end up as 4–3 loss. Game 1 and 2 were at the Consol Energy Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The Blue Jackets made a large jump in history when Jack Johnson scored the first goal of the game. This was the first time in franchise history that Columbus ever lead a post-season game. The Jackets lead the game 3–1 at one point from goals by Mark Letestu and Derek MacKenzie. However the Penguins rallied to win it 4–3. Game 2 was the opposite. Pittsburgh lead 3–1 at one point, but Columbus rallied to win Game 2 4–3 by an overtime goal from Matt Calvert. This was the first playoff victory in franchise history. Pittsburgh won Game 3 by a score of 4–3. Game 4 was a memorable night at Nationwide Arena. Columbus was down 3–0, and 3–1 by the end of the first period. Boone Jenner and Ryan Johansen scored to make it 3–2 by the end of the second period. Brandon Dubinsky scored the game tying goal with 22.5 seconds left in regulation, after a miss-play with the puck by Marc-Andre Fleury. Nick Foligno went on to score the game-winning goal in overtime. In the locker room during intermission, he supposedly told the team that he will score the game winner. Pittsburgh, however, went on to win the next two games and took the best-of-seven series in six games.
The 2014–15 season was most notable for the amount of injuries the Jackets incurred. The Jackets lead the league in man games lost with 502. At one point, the injured reserve list consisted of 15 players, including stars Sergei Bobrovsky, Brandon Dubinsky, Jack Johnson, and Ryan Murray. When the team's injured players began to return in late February, they were able to accumulate wins the way they had the previous two seasons and in the process, set a franchise record earning nine consecutive wins. However, the Blue Jackets still finished fifth in the Metropolitan Division and missed the playoffs by nine points despite a 42-35-5 record. On May 20, 2015, Nick Foligno was named the sixth captain in team history. The position had been vacant since Rick Nash was traded to the New York Rangers in July 2012. On June 30, 2015, the Jackets traded centers Marko Dano and Artem Anisimov, along with wingers Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp, to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brandon Saad. This move was the subject of much controversy in Chicago since Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman had publicly said that Saad was going to be a part of the organization for many years to come. The Jackets also acquired Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst in the trade. The Jackets signed center Gregory Campbell from the Boston Bruins a few days later.
The name "Blue Jackets" was chosen to celebrate "patriotism, pride, and the rich Civil War history in the state of Ohio and city of Columbus." When President Abraham Lincoln requested that Ohio raise ten regiments at the outbreak of the Civil War, the state responded by raising a total of 23 volunteer infantry regiments for three months of service. Ohio also produced a number of great Civil War figures, including William Tecumseh Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, Philip Sheridan and George Custer. Columbus itself was host to large military bases, Camp Chase and Camp Thomas, which saw hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers and thousands of Confederate prisoners during the Civil War.
Logos and jerseys
The team logo is a stylized version of the flag of Ohio, which is a burgee (i.e. swallowtail pennant), in the form of a "C" wrapped around a star, representing both patriotism and Columbus' status as state capital. Previously used as an alternate logo starting in 2003, it became the primary logo as part of a Reebok-sponsored redesign for the 2007–08 season. The original logo had a red ribbon with 13 stars representing the 13 Colonies, unfurled in the shape of the team’s initials, CBJ, with an electric gold hockey stick cutting through the center to represent the “J.” An additional star atop the stick represented Columbus' status as state capital. From 2003 to 2015, the team's jerseys featured an alternate logo, a Civil War cap with crossed hockey sticks, on the shoulders.
The Blue Jackets unveiled a new third jersey in the 2010–11 season, using a vintage hockey jersey design. In the spirit of its Civil War theme, it sports a union blue base with white stripes on the sleeves and on the shoulder padding. The crest features the team's Civil War-era cannon. It honors the team's founder, John H. McConnell, with his initials on the neckline, as well as its slogan "We fight, we march!" on the inside of the collar. During the 2015 NHL Draft, it was revealed that the cannon crest had replaced the hat logo on the shoulders of the home and away jerseys, with a color change to match the jerseys' color scheme.
- the Blue Jackets take the ice at the start of the game
- the Blue Jackets score a goal
- the Blue Jackets win the game
It was fired 164 times in its inaugural season (41 home games, 20 home victories, 103 goals scored at home). The title line of "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)" by AC/DC is played when the cannon is fired followed by the chorus of "The Whip" by Locksley.
On Fox Sports Ohio, Jeff Rimer serves as the television play-by-play announcer alongside former Blue Jacket Jody Shelley, who joined Rimer in 2014-15 replacing previous analyst Bill Davidge. Davidge is now a studio analyst alongside Brian Giesenschlag.
On radio stations WBNS-FM (flagship), WBNS (AM), WWCD, and 30 other affiliates in Ohio and West Virginia, Bob McElligott provides play-by-play coverage. McElligott joined the Blue Jackets radio broadcast in July 2009 as a color analyst and became the play-by-play analyst for the 2013-14 season, taking over for George Matthews who had been calling Blue Jackets games since the team's inception in 2000. Rimer started calling games on television in 2005.
Fox Sports Ohio, which airs all Blue Jackets games, airs pre-game and post-game shows ("Blue Jackets Live") for each game. Pre-game and post-game shows are hosted by Bill Davidge and former Atlanta Thrashers radio play-by-play announcer Dan Kamal. In-game reporting is provided by Dave Maetzold. The hosts of the radio pre- and post-game shows are Milan Jordan and Bob McElligott. Fans can interact by e-mail and phone with the radio personalities during and after the game.
Stinger is the official Mascot of the Blue Jackets. Stinger is a 6-foot 9 inch bright green bug that walks amongst the crowd during the games and skates on the ice between periods while wearing a Blue Jackets' jersey. Stinger was originally yellow, but was changed to green, eventually mixing with the team's blue.  The image of Stinger was on the original Blue Jackets' jerseys, eventually being removed in 2005. The team also had another mascot, an anthropomorphic cannon named Boomer, for half of the 2010–11 season.
This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Blue Jackets. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Columbus Blue Jackets seasons
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Records as of April 28, 2014
|2010–11||82||34||35||13||81||215||258||5th, Central||Did not qualify|
|2011–12||82||29||46||7||65||202||262||5th, Central||Did not qualify|
|2012–13||48||24||17||7||55||120||119||4th, Central||Did not qualify|
|2013–14||82||43||32||7||93||231||216||4th, Metropolitan||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Penguins)|
|2014–15||82||42||35||5||89||236||250||5th, Metropolitan||Did not qualify|
Updated September 23, 2015.
Team member accomplishment
- Lyle Odelein, 2000–'02
- Ray Whitney, 2002–'03
- Luke Richardson, 2003–'05
- Adam Foote, 2005–'08
- Rick Nash, 2008–'12
- Nick Foligno, 2015–present
First round draft picks
|†||Selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame|
|*||Selected number one overall|
|≠||0 NHL games played|
- a The Blue Jackets acquired the first overall pick from the Florida Panthers for the third overall pick (Jay Bouwmeester) and the option to swap 2003 first round draft picks (not exercised) on June 22, 2002.
- b The Blue Jackets acquired the eighth overall pick along with the 59th pick (Kyle Wharton) from the Carolina Hurricanes for the fourth overall pick (Andrew Ladd) on June 26, 2004.
- c The eighth overall pick (Sean Couturier) along with the 68th pick (Nick Cousins) was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for Jeff Carter on June 23, 2011.
- d The Blue Jackets acquired the 29th overall pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 34th and 68th picks on June 26, 2015.
Hall of Famers
- Sergei Fedorov, C, 2005-2008. (2015)
Franchise scoring leaders
These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history.
|R. J. Umberger||2008–14||LW||445||120||130||250||−33||200|
= current Blue Jackets player
NHL awards and trophies
- Rick Nash: 2003–04 (shared with Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers and Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames)
- Points: Rick Nash (2008–09) — 79
- Goals: Rick Nash (2003–04) — 41
- Assists: Ray Whitney (2002–03) — 52
- Game-winning goals: Geoff Sanderson' (2000–01) and Rick Nash (2003–04, 2010–11) and Cam Atkinson (2014–15) — 7
- Penalty minutes: Jody Shelley (2002–03) — 249
- Plus/Minus: Jan Hejda (2008–09) — +23
- Points by a defenseman: James Wisniewski (2013–14) — 51
- Points by a rookie: Rick Nash (2002–03) — 39
- Wins: Steve Mason (2008–09) — 33
- Shutouts in a season: Steve Mason (2008–09) — 10
- Goals against average: Sergei Bobrovsky (2012–13) — 2.00
- Save percentage: Sergei Bobrovsky (2012–13) — .932
- Saves: Marc Denis (2002–03) — 2,172
- Longest shutout streak (time without allowing a goal): Steve Mason (2008–09) — 199:19
- Team Winning Streak - 9 games (Mar. 18, 2015 - Mar. 31, 2015)
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