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Player's Perspective: "Thank You"

by Ryan Johansen / Columbus Blue Jackets

I said it after the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday and I've said many times since – this was an experience that I will never forget, and I’m so proud of our organization and the city of Columbus for putting on a great event.

From the Winter Park to the NHL Fan Fair to the fantasy draft to the skills competition and the game, everything was first-class and I think it says a lot about Columbus and how we do things here. It was so cool to see families hanging out by the outdoor rink and the campfires, people waiting in long lines for the snow slide, meeting fans at the autograph sessions…pretty much everything exceeded my expectations and I know a lot of people feel the same way.

One of the cool parts of the weekend was rubbing elbows with the best players in the world, listening to their stories and even being involved in some of the chirping at all of the events. They all had great things to say about Columbus and the All-Star Weekend in general, and I think the city opened a lot of eyes over the past five days.

Blue Jackets fans: you're the best. I can’t say “thank you” enough for supporting Nick and I during this once-in-a-lifetime experience, to voting me into the NHL Breakaway Challenge to helping me win the All-Star Game MVP. You guys were great all week, and the fan support is a big reason why this event was so successful.

So now, it’s time to get back to work and it was great to see my teammates on Tuesday morning. We’re ready to get back at it and try to make some noise down the stretch, and we’re going to need the 5th Line’s support every night.

Thanks again for a weekend that my family and I will never forget.

Go Jackets!

P.S. A few people (okay, a lot of people) have asked what I’m going to do with the new car…I don’t know yet, but soon enough!

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