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Mixer's Mailbag: On expansion drafts, grilled cheese & more

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

Back by popular demand (really, because I need something to do), the mailbag returns for a second straight year. Remember: send your questions to
@RobMixer, and as always, food questions move to the top.

What are your thoughts on grilled cheese?

I have a handful of thoughts on grilled cheese:

1.It’s a top-5 sandwich.

2.It’s probably the most versatile of sandwiches.

3.You should always use sourdough bread.

4.American cheese or get out of here.

I will say, though, that we have muddied the water a bit with respect to the grilled cheese sandwich and its legacy. A sandwich with melted cheese, chicken, cole slaw, onion rings and sauce is not a grilled cheese sandwich; it’s a chicken sandwich with cheese on it.

There’s a reason we call it grilled ham and cheese, for the sake of distinction.

Ryan Real (@ryanreal)
How is the organization approaching hosting, coaching and having players in World Cup w/r/t to getting off to a strong start?

John Tortorella is eagerly awaiting his first training camp with the Blue Jackets, and though it’ll be a tough task with balancing his World Cup of Hockey obligations, I think he’s got a strong road map in place for getting his team ready to go.

Past players of Tortorella’s have said that he lets it be known before they depart for the summer: you come to camp in top shape – you do not come to camp with the goal of getting into top shape before opening night. It reminds me of what one of my old golf coaches used to say: “if you’re five minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”

The season starts a little earlier, for sure, with the U.S. Training Camp here in early September and players arriving earlier than usual to get started skating. The ice installation is happening earlier, too, with the main ice scheduled to go in at the end of this month and the OhioHealth Ice Haus rink has been up and running for most of the summer.

Chris Sladoje (@The_Doje)
What CBJ player is mostly likely to be taken in the expansion draft?

That’s a difficult question to answer; as you know, each NHL team is going to lose one player to the Las Vegas franchise in next summer’s expansion draft, and there are a multitude of rules in place as to who can be protected, must be protected, and are automatically protected because of their contract or status.

You can safely assume the Blue Jackets will lose a player with tenure (not someone on an entry-level contract), but I have no idea who that may end up being. This depends on what Las Vegas and GM George McPhee determine is a need and who on the Blue Jackets’ non-protected list fits that need.

Pale Dragon ‏(@PaleDragonCbus)
What is the likelihood of another move (trade or FA) happening between now and the start of camp?

This mailbag question was submitted prior to the Sam Gagner signing, but I’ll answer anyway because it’s still relevant. I think, at this point, the Blue Jackets are good to go and will enter training camp with this group of players; in saying that, “this group of players” does not include any of the several young players who could make their way into the mix once training camp is complete.

Tortorella was a guest at the Greater Columbus Sports Commission’s Morning Sports Report earlier this week, and he mentioned “four or five players” from the Cleveland Monsters have a chance to make the team – and not just make the team, but make an impact.

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