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Mixer's Mailbag: On potential rookie stars, good pizza & fun baseball

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.

Shane (@MileHighJacket)
What's your favorite pizza restaurant in Columbus?

Right out of the gate and I’ve got a tough question. There are so many choices.

Obviously, we’ve got some mainstays: Adriaticos, Hounddogs, Yellow Brick. Those are the local, laid-back and weirdly creative places you’ve got to try if you haven’t already. On the west side of town, Minelli’s is an old-school joint that’s been in my mom’s family for 40 years and I can’t get enough of it. I’m a big fan of Papa Johns, too, especially a half-price #Jackets50 pie the day after a win. Can’t beat that.

A sleeper pick in this category has become Giant Eagle Market District’s brick oven pizza. It’s fantastic, and the $7.99 large pizza deal after 4 p.m. is handy if you’re crunched for time or would like dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. Pepperoni and meatball is my recommendation. Oh, and never get pineapple on your pizza.

CBJ or Die (@CBJorDie)
Boone Jenner's ultimate goal to play at center in the NHL or is he content enough with playing on the wing?

Remember: a few years ago when we were talking about Boone Jenner as a dominant, game-changing junior hockey player, he was playing center ice. His 45-goal season in his final year with Oshawa was done primarily at center, so it’s no secret that he enjoys playing the position and is comfortable there, even in spot duty as he did late in 2015-16.

Jenner has three NHL seasons under his belt: two impressive campaigns book-ending a disappointing and injury-filled sophomore year. Not only did he put up 16 goals as a winger in his rookie year (and go on to be one of the Jackets’ best players in the playoffs), but he scored 30 goals mostly on the wing this past year.

To answer your question, kind of: I have no idea, but in Jenner’s case, it’s obvious that he can impact a game at any of the three forward positions. At the NHL level, he’s spent the majority of his time on the wing but I believe both parties – the player and the team – are intrigued to see if him playing center is a long-term option. I would not be surprised if it ended up that way.

I would not want to take a face-off against him. Nope.

Tara (aka Tay) (@cbjtay)
I'm getting 65 people to a Blue Jackets game. Any fun ideas for that? It is for my birthday so I want to do it up!

That’s quite a large group, so first off, I would recommend getting in touch with our group sales department. They can help you out with a 65-person entourage.

Secondly, I would look closely at food and drink venues that can accommodate the large group. Those do exist in Columbus but you want to do your homework so that you don’t get shut out – otherwise, there are great places to hang out around the arena before the game. RBar, the Front St. plaza always has something going on, local brewery tours are a blast…the takeaway is that you’ll have options.

Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda)
Which forwards from Lake Erie have the best chance to make the Opening Day roster? And how awesome are the Indians?

We’ll start with the Indians.

My god, this summer has been a blast. They’re so much fun. They pitch, they hit, they play DEFENSE. Did I mention they’re fun?

Cleveland’s first summer championship team, the Lake Erie Monsters, is s safe bet to have some graduates this fall. The Blue Jackets are going to make sure there is room on the roster for as many young players as they need, provided those young players make a strong enough case in training camp.

Some of them made strong, loud cases this spring and into June with the Monsters, and that has some pull, no doubt. But it’s also a fresh start come September, in a way, with up to a dozen guys trying to break into the NHL.

If I have to name names, I’ll name three that I believe will begin the season in Columbus: Oliver Bjorkstrand, Zach Werenski and Josh Anderson. Mark me down in the camp of “Lukas Sedlak will make a very strong push and could also make it,” as well. Dean Kukan also has a good chance to make the club.


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