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CBJ MAIL BAG: Who are those girls that maintain the ice during timeouts?

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
Sunday, Oct. 29

CBJ MAIL BAG: What does Manny like to cook?

This week's mailbag was full of questions from what does Malhotra like to cook to where Rick Nash spends the off season to questions about the new Mountain Dew Ice Crew that helps clean the ice at Nationwide Arena.

This question is for Manny Malhotra. I hear you like to cook. What are your favorite dishes to prepare? Do you cook any Indian food?
---Vicky J., Calgary, Alberta

According to Malhotra, “it all depends upon what kind of mood I am in. If I am in the mood for steak or fish or sometimes pasta, it all depends upon what I am in the mood for. Honestly, my favorite foods come off of the barbeque, steak and fish, and I love barbequed pizza in the summer time.

“I have prepared some Indian food. My parents taught me how to cook some simple Indian dishes and how to make some different breads. So if I am in the mood for that, I will whip it up real quick.”

I was wondering if maybe you'd think about dressing Sergei Fedorov as a defenseman for a game? I have him on my fantasy hockey team and I could use the help of putting him in a defensive position to help fill a vacancy in my lineup.
---Jesse T., Peterborough, Ontario

Obviously the CBJ would never make a personnel decision to benefit your fantasy team. That being said, Fedorov does have experience playing on the blue line as the Detroit Red Wings experimented briefly with Fedorov on defense during the 1995-96 season and again during the 1996-97 playoffs.

"I’m convinced if we left him there, he’d have won a Norris Trophy," Wings senior vice-president Jimmy Devellano said at the time.

The fact remains that Fedorov has, for a long time, been considered one of the top defensive forwards in the league. In fact, he won the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top defensive forward, in 1994 and ‘96.

However, his value for the Columbus Blue Jackets is at the center position, where the Jackets are young with Gilbert Brule (19), Alexandre Svitov (24) and Manny Malhotra (26).

I’ve noticed the girls during timeouts that are helping maintain the ice. I think this is the first year the CBJ has done it. It is great you’re adding entertainment to the Blue Jackets games, but I was wondering if there are a lot of other teams that do the same thing? It seems like more of a ‘football thing’ than a ‘hockey thing’ to have ‘cheerleader types’ in the spotlight during timeouts.
---Carolyn P., Westerville, Ohio

As the demand for increased entertainment at sporting events continues, more and more teams are turning what used to be traditional aspects of a sporting event into marketing opportunities for their corporate partners to help them extend their brand messages. Female ice crews are fairly new, with the Blue Jackets being about the ninth team to introduce a corporately branded ice cleaning group.

The Blue Jackets group, the Mountain Dew Ice Crew, is primarily responsible for helping to maintain the ice during timeouts and intermissions but they also assist the Pepsi Power Patrol in tossing t-shirts to the fans or executing a promotion on the ice. These tasks used to be carried out by staff members in suits and ties but that trend began to change in the mid-90’s when it became evident that a group of high energy, athletic individuals dressed in fun and sporty attire would be better suited to providing a fun and entertaining atmosphere to a fan’s game night experience. The Blue Jackets are regularly making changes to their game entertainment in order to keep the presentation fresh and fun for their fans.

For more information on the Mountain Dew Ice Crew, click here.

I know that the guys have a "curfew" on nights before they have a game, so my question is does that curfew apply throughout the season or is it just on nights before games?
---Jessica L., Hilliard, Ohio

The Jackets have a curfew for their players only on the night before games.

I have heard that Rick Nash has a cottage up in Ontario. Is that true? I was wondering how much time he actually gets to spend up there? Do any of the other guys ever visit him?
---Nancy S., Dublin, Ohio, and Torrance, Ontario

Rick Nash does have a cottage up North in Ontario.

“I spend a lot of the summer up there,” Nash said. “I have a gym up there, so I work out a lot. I am probably up there three or four days a week.”

Have you invited any of your teammates to visit?

“There have been invites, but no one has come. I have invited Pazzy (Pascal Leclaire) and Aaron Johnson, but I guess they don’t like me very much.”

I read that my favorite player Aaron Johnson played a lot of road hockey growing up. Did he play on a team? If so what was the name? -
--Danny, Columbus, Ohio

According to Aaron Johnson, “Growing up in Canada, everyone plays hockey, you are born with skates on your feet. In the summer times there are always traveling teams and they typically start around 13 or 14 years old and your entire summer is devoted to traveling 2.5 hours to practice with this team and then come back. That is when hockey took over my life.”

Johnson played for the Nova Scotia Raiders for three years before he was drafted by Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 1999 at the age of 16.He would play the next four seasons before being traded to Quebec.

Johnson was tabbed as Columbus’ fourth pick, 85th overall in 2001, making his professional debut in 2003-04, split between Syracuse (AHL) and Columbus (NHL). The defenseman made his NHL debut on Dec. 2, 2003 vs. Anaheim and has spent the last three seasons between Columbus and Syracuse.

Who decides which sweater will be worn for each home game?
---Lucas G., Columbus, Ohio

The NHL instituted a policy that home teams wear their dark jerseys. If a Club has a third jersey and it wants to use them, the home team must contact the visiting team and let them know so they can bring the appropriate jersey. The key is the NHL does not ever want anyone wearing the same color jerseys for obvious reasons.

Thank you for all of your questions. Don’t forget, throughout the 2006-07 NHL season, would like to answer questions from Blue Jackets fans. E-mail your query to for possible inclusion in a future mailbag column, which will be published every other Sunday. Letters can be addressed to any member of the organization and may be edited for brevity, length and/or content. Please include your name and location along with your question. Click on the CBJ mailbag to submit your question:

The next CBJ Mailbag column will appear on Sunday, Nov. 12. Keep the questions coming!.....

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