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Friday Five: Movin' East

by Rob Mixer & Kristyn Repke / Columbus Blue Jackets

Happy Friday, everyone. Let's kick off the end of the work week in style, shall we?

Of course we're talking about the "Friday Five," our weekly look at five things about the Blue Jackets. There's been a lot to talk about, too, which isn't normally the case in the middle of August, but the buzz is noticeable around town. We are less than a month away from the opening of training camp and yesterday marked one month until the first preseason game.

A big part of the change and excitement headed into the 2013-14 season is the Blue Jackets' move to the Eastern Conference. Gone are the days in the Central Division and lengthy West Coast road trips - now we're talking about the newly-formed Metropolitan Division and the Blue Jackets having seven new division rivals to learn everything about.

This week's "Friday Five" is a compilation of five things to look forward to as the Blue Jackets make the move to the Eastern Conference:

Less travel

As we just mentioned, the Blue Jackets' travel schedule will be far different than
it has been since they joined the NHL in 2000. Their trips to western Canada
and California are vastly reduced and they will be spending more nights
at home with 7 p.m. local start times, resulting in fewer overnights
and more "there and back" trips. Of the seven teams in the Metropolitan
Division, the farthest trip they will make from Nationwide Arena
is 590 miles to play the New York Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y.
The Blue Jackets' average traveling distance for a divisional road game
is 458.9 miles, a significant difference from what it has been in previous years.

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