Thanks to all who submitted questions for the offseason's first edition of the mailbag. Hopefully, we'll get together every Thursday and I'll answer your questions, so send them to @RobMixer anytime.
Let's get started.
Jamie (@JD312) With so many NHL caliber forwards, and more on the way…who do you see as trade bait and what would be a target?
That’s a good question. I think, at least right now, it’s pretty obvious that the Blue Jackets have a logjam up front, partially because they got healthy bodies back toward the end of the year and also because they have several young players either on the cusp of earning NHL jobs or who will be pushing for a spot in the near future. Logic says they will try (key word: try) to use that glut of forwards to make a deal for a defenseman this summer, and Jarmo Kekalainen stated at his year-end press conference that adding to the defense is one of his offseason goals. So, to answer your question, I don’t know that any one player can be labeled as “trade bait” but this storyline will be one to watch as we get closer to the draft, when trade activity around the NHL tends to gather steam.
Sorry, that's a non-answer but this is my mailbag and I make the rules. #BOOM
DARE DRAK-HUH (@derdrache) If the Blue Jackets were any mac & cheese, which mac & cheese would they be? #mailbag
Gonna be honest here – this question almost stumped me.
HOW AM I TO PICK ONE MAC & CHEESE?
But here’s how I see it: I think I have the best job in the world and the Blue Jackets are a big, big, big part of that, so naturally, if the Blue Jackets were any mac & cheese, they would be the best mac & cheese in the world. And if we’re talking about all the mac & cheeses in the world, really, only one stands out due to its comfort food acumen and culinary wonder, and that’s buffalo chicken mac & cheese. All other mac & cheeses are playing for second place.
*Note: if you haven’t tried the Mexican mac & cheese at Nada (next to Nationwide Arena), you’re missing out.
MQ2 (@mjr_pnlt) Anisimov - O/u games in #CBJ sweater next season - 42 - is Arty trade bait?
I don’t claim to have any #insiderrrr knowledge on this (and speculation is, at best, merely speculation) but I think Artem Anisimov is one of those guys you’d like to have on your team and the Blue Jackets are a better team when he's in the lineup. He’s got an ideal blend of size, skills and smarts and plays a real solid game in all three zones, and don’t forget he was a 22-goal scorer a year ago. I’ll take the over because Arty’s a talented guy, is signed with a year left on his deal and he can play in all situations. It’s been written many times already, but that line of Anisimov-Dubinsky-Foligno was probably the Jackets’ best line in the final 10-15 games. The Blue Jackets would like him to bounce back with a healthier season – which I think robbed him of some consistency this year – and I think the production will ramp back up as a result.
Paul J. Sagan (@SaganPaul) Your thoughts on Savard's season &/or future w/ team please?
I think we touched on this story a bit last year around the same time, but there aren’t many guys on this team who have made greater strides than David Savard. Does he have a lot of work left to do in his development? Absolutely, and if how he practices is any indication, there’s not a doubt in my mind that he’ll continue to get better in the years ahead. His 11 goals this year were the second-most ever by a Blue Jackets defenseman in one season (hello, Bryan Berard!) and a scoring output creeping up on 40 points is nothing to brush aside. Defensively, I think the Jackets want to see him play with that nasty, physical edge night in and night out and continue to take on more responsibility on special teams. I think his future is promising – but at the same time, it’s still a work in progress – and I also think the plan is for him to continue to grow here and be part of the Blue Jackets blue line for the foreseeable future.
Union Blue Soldiers (@TheUBSoldiers) Who do you see being the next Captain for The Union Blue? I think it will be Nick Foligno. #CBJ #UnionBluePride.
Ah yes, the captain question (I’m kidding). It certainly sounds as though we’re going to have a resolution here before training camp, but I have no idea who it’s going to be or when it’s going to officially happen. There are a few leading candidates, one would think; Dubinsky, Foligno and Johnson are vocal and emotional leaders and have strong voices within the dressing room. That’s not to say those are the only candidates, but when I think of guys who lead the way for this team, those three jump to the front of mind.
Colin Madigan (@CMAD77) Has there been any talk about changing the goal song? It feels like it gets changed every couple years.
You'll be happy to know, Colin, that I reached deep into my network of sources to find the answer to this question.
(I actually just walked 50 feet to my left and asked Derek Dawley, the Blue Jackets' director of event presentation.)
Here's a pretty straightforward answer from Mr. Dawley: "There's been no talk at all about changing the goal song."
"We love the song, the fans love it and it fits in so well with the other aspects of our goal celebration. You look around the arena after a goal, and you see the fans dancing and clapping along, but you can also hear them singing along, too, which is awesome."
Dawley and his staff plan for "The Whip," the team's current goal song performed by Locksley, to be part of the goal celebration for a long time. In full disclosure: I love the song and the entire Blue Jackets goal celebration, so I'm happy that it's here to stay.