The year that was…
The first person to tell you that 2013-14 was a tough year for Jared Boll will be Jared Boll.
He’s been a part of the Blue Jackets organization through the lean times and the not-so-lean times, and has seen first-hand the evolution of a franchise into something he hoped for many years ago. Injuries limited Boll to just 28 games this past season and he struggled to find rhythm, consistency or solid footing in the Jackets’ lineup.
As a result, the Blue Jackets had to look elsewhere for fourth-line depth and brought in Corey Tropp via waivers mid-season, and this summer, they signed Brian Gibbons and traded for Jerry D’Amigo to provide more options on the bottom two lines.
With Derek MacKenzie, Blake Comeau and Jack Skille departing via free agency, the door is open for those aforementioned players but also for Boll to re-assert himself as a lineup regular.
|Click the photo above for Jared Boll's 2013-14 "season in photos" gallery. |
Where he stands…
It’s going to be a tough road back for Boll, but he fully invested in his summer to give himself the best chance to rebound in 2014-15.
He is a year-round Columbus resident and has taken on an intense offseason program geared to get him into peak condition for training camp. As Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson has said numerous times: as the team continues to get better and better, the competition for ice time will only grow more intense and opportunities become more precious. There is a big opportunity for Boll in training camp and he’s zeroed in on that fourth-line right wing spot.
Most important for Boll this fall is to start the season healthy and keep building. He’s played only 71 regular season games in the last two seasons combined, and suited up for just two of the Blue Jackets’ six playoff games last spring.
In order to be an effective piece moving forward, the Blue Jackets need Boll to be healthy and fully ready to play an aggressive, on-your-toes style built around his presence on the forecheck. When he’s first to the party and causing problems for defensemen, Boll adds a unique element to the fourth line.