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Atkinson on fatherhood: 'You definitely look at life a little different'

Following the birth of his first child, Declan, Blue Jackets forward enjoying new role as a dad.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Just as he's done throughout his NHL career, Cam Atkinson is going through his offseason training regimen focused on the season ahead.

He's adding strength in the gym, training in Columbus with Blue Jackets veteran center Brandon Dubinsky, and they're both going through on-ice workouts at the OhioHealth Ice Haus along with other Jackets players and prospects. This year, though, there's a twist.

Atkinson is three-plus weeks into being a dad now, after his wife, Natalie, gave birth to their first child, Declan Cameron Atkinson, on July 24.

"My wife's an absolute rock star, and Declan … he's sleeping probably three-to-four hours, which I guess is pretty good compared to what most people say," Atkinson said this week, prior to getting on the ice for another workout. "He has his moments, for sure, but for the most part he's eating, sleeping and doing all the stuff that he needs to be doing. It's been great."

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BATTALION BREAKDOWN: Anthony Duclair

Energetic, enigmatic young forward had rebound season cut short by injury.

by Anthony Allocco @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season from a numerical standpoint, starting with the highest jersey number and counting down to the lowest. After running through existing Jackets, we have moved on to recent additions to the team. Today, BlueJackets.com examines Anthony Duclair's 2017-18 season and how it impacted the Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks.

Anthony Duclair

Number: 91

Age: 22

Birthdate: Aug. 26, 1995

Height/Weight: 5-11, 191

Position: Left wing

Nickname: 'Duke'

Signing Anthony Duclair to a one-year, one-way contract at the league minimum of $650,000 could prove to be the bargain of the summer in the NHL for the Blue Jackets.

After scoring 20 goals and adding 22 assists as a 20-year old rookie with the Arizona Coyotes in 2015-16, Duclair took a step back the following year and entered last season looking to rebound.

Duclair was heading in that direction with the Coyotes in 2017-18, with 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 33 games, but was dealt to Chicago after requesting a trade from the Coyotes. Cast in a different role with the Blackhawks, Duclair still found ways to contribute for his new team despite a slight drop in ice time.

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A practice with the pros

Prior to his first day of high school, local teen had a skate to remember.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Like a lot of kids his age, Ryan Gingher started high school this week.

The 14-year old left wing for the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets' 14U team began his freshman year at Dublin Coffman on Thursday, which in itself was a pretty big deal.

Unlike most kids his age, though, Gingher's final day of summer vacation Wednesday included skating with professional hockey players during an offseason workout at the OhioHealth Ice Haus - including some Blue Jackets players and prospects.

"It's a lot of fun getting to hang out with these guys, seeing how big they are and how much they've grown." said Gingher, whose father, Ed Gingher, runs the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program. "It's an opportunity not many kids get to have and I have the opportunity to skate with them."

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From then to now, AAA Blue Jackets alums can see hockey's growth locally

Program's inaugural alum game Sunday further proof of sport's foothold in Columbus.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

All it takes to judge the growing popularity of hockey in Columbus is a short walk inside the doors of the OhioHealth Ice Haus.

Over in the corner of the Blue Jackets' practice rink, which is attached to Nationwide Arena, is the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets' locker room. All by itself, it helps tell the story of hockey's emerging presence here merely by existing.

"Before the Blue Jackets and the NHL came to the city, youth hockey didn't have the backing that it does now," said Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly, who grew up in Dublin and came through the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program. "It didn't have the excitement and didn't have any kids thinking, 'Maybe one day I'll play for the Blue Jackets.' We didn't have any of that before they arrived. Now, we come back here in the summer and [the AAA Blue Jackets] have a locker room."

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Single Game Tickets go on sale Friday, August 24 at 10 a.m.

Ohio residents will have exclusive first opportunity to purchase tickets through 9 a.m. on Monday, August 27

by Blue Jackets Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that single-game tickets for home games played at Nationwide Arena during the 2018-19 season, including the Friday, October 5 home opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, will go on sale to the public on Friday, August 24 at 10 a.m.

As a special consideration for Blue Jackets fans within the state of Ohio, the club also announced that Ohio residents will have the first opportunity to purchase single-game tickets when they go on sale. The exclusive presale for Ohio residents will be in effect through Monday, August 27 at 9 a.m. with tickets for those residing outside the state of Ohio available starting at that time. Residency is based on credit card billing address.

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BATTALION BREAKDOWN: Riley Nash

Veteran center added quality depth, right-handed shot for Bruins in 2017-18.

by Anthony Allocco @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season from a numerical standpoint, starting with the highest jersey number and counting down to the lowest. After running through existing Jackets, we have moved on to recent additions to the team. Today, BlueJackets.com examines Riley Nash's season and how it impacted the Boston Bruins in the 2017-18 campaign.

Riley Nash
Number: 20
Age: 29
Birthdate: May 9, 1989
Height/Weight: 6-1, 190
Position: Center

When free agency began July 1, the Blue Jackets decided to add a key ingredient to their lineup.

They signed veteran center Riley Nash to a three-year contract worth a total of $8.25 million, which immediately improved their quality depth down the middle of the ice and gave them a right-handed center for important face-offs at the right-wing dots.

Nash, who started his NHL career with the Carolina Hurricanes and spent the past two seasons with the Boston Bruins, has played much of his seven-year career as a role player. Last season was a different story.

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Columbus Blue Jackets, Vector Security announce new partnership

The fourth largest security company in the US named "Official Security Partner of the Columbus Blue Jackets" as part of multiyear agreement.

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Vector Security, a leading provider of security and smart automation services to home and business with local offices in Columbus and across Ohio, announces a multiyear partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Vector Security will receive in-arena sponsorship exclusivity in the home and business security categories and is named the "Official Security Partner of the Columbus Blue Jackets."

Vector Security branding opportunities include LED and digital displays within the arena, radio advertising and other promotional benefits. The agreement also includes dasher board signage for maximum brand exposure to the hundreds of thousands of fans that fill the arena for home games each year.

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Werenski back to skating, taking slapshots: 'I feel great out there'

Third-year defenseman hopes to be ready for season-opener in Detroit; won't rush recovery timeframe.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

He's still going through rehab exercises, but Zach Werenski is making good progress with his surgically-repaired shoulder this summer.

The 21-year old defenseman is back on the ice, even stepping into slap shots, and he's hoping to take his first contact at some point in training camp. His focus is also locked on Oct. 4 at Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit, when the Blue Jackets will open the 2018-19 regular season against the Detroit Red Wings - the team he cheered growing up in Grosse Pointe, Mich.

"My goal, ultimately, is to be there for Game 1," Werenski told BlueJackets.com. "You never want to miss time, you never want to miss games, so my goal going into training camp and into the season is to be ready for Game 1. If it's later, like Game 5 or Game 10, whenever that is, I'm going to work to miss as few games as possible and be ready to help the team."

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Jones and Werenski listed among NHL's 20 best defensemen

NHL Network positional breakdown puts Jackets' top defense duo in elite company.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

One of the biggest keys to building a consistent winner in the NHL is a strong corps of defensemen, led by an elite top defense pairing.

The Blue Jackets have both, including a top pair that's among the best in the league.

Seth Jones and Zach Werenski have excelled the past two years, individually and as a tandem, and now they're starting to earn notoriety as two of best young defensemen in the league. They've also earned spots among the NHL's Top 20 defensemen, as chosen by NHL Network experts.

Jones is ranked sixth and Werenski is No. 12 on the list, which was released Sunday.

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Columbus Blue Jackets announce time changes for three games

The start times for the Columbus Blue Jackets games against New Jersey, Tampa Bay, and Edmonton Oilers have been changed.

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The start times for three Columbus Blue Jackets games during the upcoming 2018-19 regular season have been changed to accommodate National Hockey League national and international television schedules. The affected games are as follows:

Sunday, December 23 at New Jersey - 12:30 p.m. ET (original start time was 1 p.m.)
Monday, February 18 vs. Tampa Bay - 7:30 p.m. ET (original start time was 7 p.m.) - buy tickets
Saturday, March 2 vs. Edmonton Oilers - 1 p.m. ET (original start time was 2 p.m.) - buy tickets

RELATED: Blue Jackets Announce 2018-19 Schedule

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