The Blue Jackets have a big-name newcomer this season, but in a way, it almost feels like two. Scott Hartnell joins the team after being acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in June, while Nathan Horton will attend his first Blue Jackets camp after missing last season’s while recovering from shoulder surgery. Horton only played 36 games before again being lost to injury for the remainder of the season, so with two big weapons healthy and ready to go for camp, it will be interesting to see how head coach Todd Richards decides to use them in his lineup.
Richards could utilize Hartnell in a second-line role, which would presumably nudge Matt Calvert down to the third line. Yet the team may be hesitant to break up its second line, which was its most consistent trio offensively last spring.
Horton’s return to the lineup last season required some creative line management, and adding Hartnell to the mix will require even more of it. It’s a very good problem for Richards to have, but we’ll see what answers he finds in composing his lines.