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The Official Site of the Columbus Blue Jackets

Mixer's Mailbag: Vol. 18

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

Thanks to all who submitted questions for the 18th #CBJ mailbag. Hopefully, we'll get together every Thursday/Friday and I'll answer your questions, so send them to @RobMixer anytime.

Brandon Rivers (@hodgesheroes)
Will Paul Bittner get to see any preseason games as a signed draft pick?

I would say it's pretty likely. The Blue Jackets opened training camp with 63 players and Todd Richards is using three groups to get everyone the proper number of reps in the early going, and with a preseason game just three practices into camp, I'd think several forwards are going to get a look.

Bittner's looked good in camp so far, but I caution that it's only two days in and it's hard to get a read on anything other than individual instances. You notice his size right away, and there's a lot of skill, too, making him an intriguing prospect to watch as his development takes off.

Leslie Fox (@lfoxcbus)
During intermissions what do players do? Do they remove all their gear, eat, shower...any routines?

Because my highest level of hockey was not high at all, I consulted with former NHLer/local fan favorite and current Blue Jackets broadcaster/ambassador Jody Shelley on this one.

Most often, the players will filter into the dressing room and catch their breath, regroup for a few minutes after the period's over. Then, they'll hear from the coach about their good moments and also about their mistakes, and any potential changes they're making going into the next period.

If you have to use the restroom, get rehydrated, untie your skates and let your feet breathe for a few, intermission's the time for that. The gear, for the most part, stays on. Occasionally, players will sneak in an energy bar or something of the sort during the break.

David (@David_S14)
Preseason games going to be broadcasted?

Doesn't sound that way right now. FOX Sports Ohio is not televising any home or away preseason games, and there are currently no plans to stream games. We will have highlights, interviews, etc. during the game and post-game, so and our social media platforms are your go-to place for coverage.

As always, if there any updates, we'll pass them along.

Chad Garvin (@SirChadlyOC)
Coach Mixer, who are you putting out there for #CBJ's first overtime 3-on-3 situation?

This weekend, I asked a few players and Todd Richards about the possibility of using three forwards in 3-on-3 overtime (there will be a story on the site about this very soon). The players seemed to like the idea because it's an attacking, aggressive approach, but cautioned that you'll almost certainly need one 'responsible' player, possibly a defensive-minded center, backing up your other two forwards.

Richards wasn't opposed to it at all, saying that most of the 3-on-3 planning and strategy is unknown so it's tough to rule anything out.

This is where I'm supposed to answer your question, isn't it?

Call me risky or call me crazy, but I'd go with three forwards: Ryan Johansen, Nick Foligno and Alexander Wennberg. I want Johansen in the face-off circle, being my primary puck possessor and playmaker. I want Foligno holding on to the puck and making highly-skilled plays and beating guys 1-on-1, and Wennberg is almost in a "spy" position, making sure everything's good to go before picking his spot. If he's needed to drop back into defensive coverage and get the house in order, I'm fine with that.

In a format that lends itself to risk and skill, I'm in the camp that would go for it.

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