COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Columbus Blue Jackets will take their first on-ice steps towards the opening of the 2008-09 season September 13-17 as 26 players will participate in a rookie camp and prospect tournament at the Center Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan. Participating players will undergo physicals and fitness testing beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, September 12 at McConnell Heart Health Center. Players will be available to the media between 12-12:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (33 E. Nationwide Blvd.) prior to departing for Traverse City.
This year will mark the eighth-straight in which Columbus has participated in the Annual NHL Prospect Tournament. The Blue Jackets won the tournament championship in 2006 and 2007 and were defeated by the New York Rangers in the championship game a year ago. In addition to Columbus, NHL clubs participating this year include the Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Practice sessions and tournament games will be held on the facility's two sheets of ice – David's Rink and Citizens Rink – located at 1544 Hammond Road, Traverse City, Michigan 49686 (Phone – 231/933-7465). The Blue Jackets will play in the Western Conference along with Dallas, Minnesota and St. Louis. The Eastern Conference will consist of Atlanta, Detroit, NY Rangers and Tampa Bay. Columbus' schedule is as follows:
Date Event Time
Friday, Sept. 12 Physicals & Strength Testing 7 a.m.
Travel to Traverse City, Mich. 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 13 vs. Minnesota Wild 3:30 p.m. (Citizen's Rink)
Sunday, Sept. 14 vs. Dallas Stars 6 p.m. (David's Rink)
Monday, Sept. 15 NO GAMES SCHEDULED
Tuesday, Sept. 16 vs. St. Louis Blues 3:30 p.m. (David's Rink)
Wednesday, Sept. 17 7th Place Game 2 p.m. (David's Rink)
5th Place Game 2:30 p.m. (Citizen's Rink)
3rd Place Game 6 p.m. (David's Rink)
Championship Game 6:30 p.m. (Citizen's Rink)
The Blue Jackets' rookie camp roster will feature 26 players, including 12 who were selected by the club via the NHL Entry Draft. Leading the group will be the Blue Jackets' top picks in the last two Entry Drafts – right wing Jakub Voracek (seventh overall pick in 2007) and center Nikita Filatov (sixth overall pick in 2008). In addition, three additional players who were selected in the 2008 Entry Draft will also participate: defenseman Steven Delisle (107th), left wing Matt Calvert (127th) and defenseman Brent Regner (137th).
ROOKIE CAMP ROSTER
The Blue Jackets rookies will be coached in Traverse City by Ross Yates, head coach of the club's AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch. He will be assisted by Crunch Assistant Coach Trent Cull. Columbus General Manager Scott Howson, Director of Player Personnel Don Boyd and Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Castron will lead members of the organization's hockey operations staff who will also be on hand for the camp and tournament.
Blue Jackets veterans and rookies will officially open the club’s eighth training camp with physicals and strength testing on Friday, September 19, before taking the ice for the first time on Saturday, September 20. A complete schedule will be released prior to the opening of training camp.
Individual game tickets for 2008-09 regular season home games will go on sale Friday, September 19 at noon at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FSN Ohio Blue Line at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, The Chiller Ice Rinks and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. Fans can purchase tickets by phone at (614) 431-3600 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for preseason games are on sale now. For information on season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.