by professor ggrib
So far we are 4 days into the post season and time has started to drag. BUT already the Blue Jackets have put out some interesting twists. Maybe the summer doldrums have not started.
First, the Mike Riley mini drama of Mike not signing a Blue Jacket contract. We’ve been told his signing is 50/50. Maybe that’s accurate. We’ve been told his decision boils down to opportunity, or opportunity and Mike’s ties/location with the Minnesota Wild vs opportunity with the Blue Jackets. From all reports, Riley has the skills to play with any NHL team, so if he recognizes that although he may stay a few years with his signing team, he will not necessarily stay with that team his entire career it may be about the direction the team is going and the opportunity to play with a winner.
The Wild should be considered a team on the upswing. They have spend the money on free agents to start this process. While their free agents may be a bit older than the CBJ, the intent is there. They were lacking a good goaltender, but may have fixed or at least alleviated this problem with a new goaltender at the trade deadline. Thus, the potential upward trend of the Wild cannot be dismissed as “the Jackets have the edge here” contention.
Logic tells us that if Riley didn’t sign with the Blue Jackets yet, he will not. Hopefully there is more to the kid’s mentality that that and it is in fact a decision that has not been made. And in fact, playing for Todd Richards at the Worlds could make a difference [either way] If he signs, it will be somewhat of a path changing signing for the direction the Blue Jackets need to go this summer.
The Captain question This issue which has floated around since Nash left has reached the point that all parties apparently have agreed that it is time for the Blue Jackets to have an “official” captain. Of Course, this begs the question “Who”!
Although several Jackets are legitimate contenders for this position, I think Nick Foleigno assumed the cloak at the All Star Game and has not relinquished it. Back 3 years we were treated to a video of Nick in a clothing store supposedly trying to sell his jersey to customers. Great spoof and shows Nick has a bit of tongue in cheek in him. Fast forward to last year and his daughter’s health issues and overcoming them and the real Nick Foleigno came out roaring.
Although always a subject for an interview, the All Star Game and it’s Captaincy requirements just seemed to bring the responsibility out as he was the perfect host for the star players visiting. And since then, he has been a spokesman for the team unofficial perhaps, but it’s been the politically correct Foleigno who we have seen time and time again.
While I would not be upset of one of several other players was named Captain, I look forward to the door to training camp opening and Nick Foleigno is standing there welcoming the returning players.