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Plus/Minus – Grading the Columbus Blue Jackets Offseason

Posted By Corey Krakower On Aug 5 2011 @ 8:19 pm In Columbus Blue Jackets | No Comments

**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade

Team: Columbus Blue Jackets
2010-11: 81 points, #13 in Western Conference


Returning: Steve Mason

Arrivals: Mark Dekanich
Departures: Mathieu Garon

Grade: -1

Dekanich has been a star in the AHL but remains untested at the NHL level. The problem is if Steve Mason struggles, which is not out of the realm of possibility, Dekanich will have a tough task stepping in for an extended period of time.


Returning: Marc Methot, Fedor Tyutin, Kris Russell, Grant Clitsome

Arrivals: James Wisniewski, Radek Martinek
Departures: Jan Hejda, Anton Stralman, Sami Lepisto, Craig Rivet

Grade: +2

The Jackets have some good defensive defensemen, but have not had a D post a 40-point season in almost 10 years. The addition of Wisniewski should fix that. Despite the astronomical cap hit, Wiz is a very good puck moving defenseman who excels on the PP. Prospects John Moore and David Savard will be competing for the #7 spot, which should negate the loss of some depth players.


Returning: Rick Nash, RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette, Derick Brassard, Kristian Huselius, Matt Calvert, Sammy Pahlsson, Derek Dorsett, Jared Boll, Derek MacKenzie

Arrivals: Jeff Carter, Vinny Prospal, Ryan Johansen
Departures: Jakub Voracek, Scottie Upshall, Chris Clark, Ethan Moreau Andrew Murray

Grade: +3

Like on defense, the Columbus Blue Jackets are filling a major void up front with the addition of Jeff Carter as their #1 center. Not only that, they have gone from being a team that is weak at the center ice position, to one that has Carter, Vermette, Brassard and now top prospect Ryan Johansen who by all accounts is NHL ready.

2011-12 Prediction: #8-#10 in Western Conference

While Columbus is one of the most improved teams in the NHL, they are in one of the toughest divisions in hockey, so making the playoffs is not a given. If Steve Mason can be consistent, and if their makeover on defense turns out to be positive, that will make a postseason appearance all the more feasible. 

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