The Blue Jackets season is well underway, but earlier this week, four members of the team tackled some unfinished business from last season.
On Monday evening, members of the Cleveland Monsters team bused down to Columbus to meet former Monsters (and current Blue Jackets) Josh Anderson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Lukas Sedlak and Zach Werenski at Double Eagle Club to receive their Calder Cup championship rings.
"It was honestly really good to see the guys. There were a bunch of smiles when they showed up on the bus," Anderson told BlueJackets.com.
After spending some time visiting and catching up, the group assembled for dinner and received congratulations from Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson and GM Jarmo Kekalainen.
And then it was time for some hardware. One by one, each player was called up to receive his ring.
"Billy Zito was announcing all the players and saying things he liked about them," Werenski said. "It was a cool moment to see what he had to say and it was true, how every guy came to the rink and had their own part."
The group waited until each player had received their box holding the ring before opening them together. Anderson said the rings, constructed in 10 karat white gold with 188 round stones totaling two carats, flashed right away.
"They are really gorgeous...unbelievable," Anderson said.
After receiving the rings, team leadership shared with the players the symbolism contained in the ring design.
For Werenski and Bjorkstrand, one of the top aspects of the design is a tribute to late Monsters assistant equipment manager Phil Simon, who passed away from leukemia during the team's playoff run.
"Where it says Monsters (you can see a highlighted) PS for Phil which I thought was pretty cool because he's obviously a big part of Cleveland hockey," Bjorkstrand said. "It was cool that we have a memory of him in the ring."
Bjorkstrand's second favorite thing? A band around the top of the ring that mimics the dasher board at Quicken Loans Arena which counted down the number of playoff wins needed to become Calder Cup champions. Each number was crossed off with spray paint after each win.
Those Monster-specific memories are accompanied by a Blue Jackets logo along with the player's last name on one side of the ring, and the Cleveland skyline on the other. The Calder Cup itself, along with the Monsters logo, fill the top of the ring with the words "Calder Cup Champions."
Inside the band, each series' record is engraved to mark the team's path to the first ever Monsters AHL championship.
"It's a pretty special moment when you get a championship ring," Werenski said. "I looked at it pretty close and it is pretty cool. It's an awesome ring."