Some news just announced by the Blue Jackets: they have named three assistant captains to start the 2012-13 NHL season.
Derek Dorsett, Jack Johnson and RJ Umberger are the three players to wear "A"s when the team takes the ice tomorrow night against the Nashville Predators. Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards has said throughout Training Camp presented by OhioHealth that the team has no timetable on naming a full-time captain; rather, he prefers to let leadership rise from the dressing room and let the next captain be the perfect fit.
Dorsett, 26, was a seventh round pick (189th overall) in 2006 and is a career Blue Jacket. He has experience wearing a letter in each of the previous two seasons and has emerged as a vocal leader within the dressing room. Teammates have referred to him as an "honest player," "consistent," and "a guy no one wants to play against." He set a career-high with 12 goals and 20 points in 77 games last year, and has seen has point production increase in each of his first four professional seasons.
Johnson, 26, came to Columbus via trade from the Los Angeles Kings last February and instantly made himself at home with the Blue Jackets. He fit like a glove both on the ice and in the locker room, and was immediately logging top-four minutes on the blue line for Richards. He wore the "A" during his time in Los Angeles and was one of the team's young leaders, and has scored at least 35 points in three consecutive seasons.
Umberger, 30, is one of the longest-tenured Blue Jackets on this year's roster, entering his fifth season in Columbus. Not only has he been a model of consistency on the scoresheet by scoring 20-plus goals in each of his four seasons with the Blue Jackets, he is one of the league's most durable players. Umberger played 77 games last year, which was the first time since arriving in Columbus that he did not suit up for all 82 games of the regular season. In 323 career games with the Blue Jackets, he has registered 94-104-198.
All three players will sport the "A" for the first time tomorrow night, as the Blue Jackets open their 48-game regular season schedule against the Predators at Bridgestone Arena.