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CBJ MAIL BAG: Why did Rostislav Klesla change numbers last year?

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

This week's mailbag was full of concern over the Fedorov injury as well as some interesting questions on some of the strategy of the game.

I know that a team can dress 20 players a night. Is there a limit on how many players can be up with the ‘Big Club’ at one time, and how many times they can be healthy scratch?
---Jon P., Columbus, Ohio

According to Chris MacFarland, who is the manager of hockey operations with the Columbus Blue Jackets, 23 players is the maximum a team can have on the roster, but most teams carry 21 or 22 players.

There are no rules on how many times a player can be a healthy scratch.

Last season defenseman Rostislav Klesla changed jersey numbers from 44 to 97. Why did he change numbers?
---Joel K., Piketon, Ohio

According to Klesla, there really wasn’t any particular reason why he changed numbers last year, he honestly just liked the No. 97 better.

Where can I find a schedule of open to the public practices?
---Brian M., Lewis Center, Ohio

As CBJ fans know, all practices at the Dispatch IceHaus are free and open to the public and the organization encourages fans to come watch. Every Monday, the Jackets will release a “Weekly Report” which outlines and details practice times that are open to the public. The Weekly Report is posted on as the top story every Monday afternoon.

In addition, all practices that are open to the public will be posted on the season schedule calendar, which is located on the home page below the game day box. A copy of that calendar is the image on the right.

Just a reminder to CBJ fans, all practices subject to change, as the coaching staff may decide to cancel practice or move it to the main ice at Nationwide Arena, depending upon situations that arise during the course of the season.

This is a question for the goalies. As we were watching practice, those pucks are coming in at you at a high rate of speed. Just wondering, can you feel the puck when it hits your leg gear and do they ever leave any bruising?
---Barb & Bridgett, London, Ohio.

According to Pascal Leclaire, “Usually when it hits my padding I am fine and I do not feel anything. Sometimes a puck will sneak in and gets me in the ribs and that hurts. In the past I didn’t use extra knee protectors and that was painful, but now I have added some extra padding down there. Every once in a while I will take one on the finger or a wrist and that stings.

“The knees were the worst though, they used to swell up pretty bad and you really couldn’t bend your knee too much.”

How about publishing a schedule of when the CBJ will wear their third jerseys so we can coordinate our game day apparel with the team?
---Michael Q., Dublin, Ohio

The Jackets organization is very appreciative of your efforts to coordinate which jersey you wear with what the team is wearing. On in the preview story for each game, if the team will be wearing their third jerseys it will be mentioned in the article detailing that night’s game. Also, in the game notes, which are available on the gameday box as well, there will be a listing of each of the games as well as the result from the last game in which the club wore the third jersey.

But here is a schedule should you wish to jot it down:
Monday, Oct. 9 vs. Phoenix
Friday, Oct. 20 vs. Toronto
Friday, Nov. 10 vs. Edmonton
Friday, Nov. 17 vs. Colorado
Saturday, Nov. 25 vs. Minnesota
Sunday, Dec. 10 vs. Ottawa
Tuesday, Dec. 26 vs. Boston
Sunday, Dec. 31 vs. Chicago
Saturday, Jan. 13 vs. Nashville
Friday, Jan. 26 vs. Buffalo
Sunday, Feb. 18 vs. Montreal
Sunday, Mar. 25 vs. St. Louis
Sunday, Apr. 1 vs. Detroit
Saturday, Apr. 7 vs. Anaheim

Depth is not something we've had much of, until now. With the injury to Fedorov, who do you see stepping into the top line?
---Ken D., Columbus, Ohio

According to head coach Gerard Gallant, “Right now it is going to be Manny Malhotra, and we are going to switch his old line up a little bit and put Geoff Platt up with Jason Chimera and Dan Fritsche on that third line.”

Is there a difference between a left & right winger when it comes to roles within team strategies and game plans (I mean more than just what side of the ice they skate on)?

Also, why aren't the defensemen positioned as left & right defensemen? Are they more interchangeable than the forwards?
---Anthony B., Columbus, Ohio

There can be a difference between left and right wingers and their roles in team strategies, depending on the system the team is using. Typical type of situations where it is important is how clubs defend against the attack. For example, in the LW lock, typically the left wing’s job will be to force the puck carrier to one side of the ice where the opposite winger can step up in the neutral zone and “trap” the puck carrier.

In regard to your question concerning defensemen, many defensemen are comfortable playing on the left side or the right side. Sometimes injuries will dictate which side a defenseman plays on, but most of the time it is strictly comfort level, it all depends.

Clubs ideally would love to have a mix of right shots and left shots on the backend. Some defensemen are much more comfortable on one side than the other, so it really varies. On power play situations, you will often notice where the lefty shooting point man plays the right point and the right shot defenseman plays the left point, this is particularly important for getting off one-timers from the point and it gives the shooter a better angle when shooting on the net.

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, Oct. 15. Keep the questions coming!.....

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