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Time to Step to the Plate... Tee Up the Long Ball... Make a Splash

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

June 25

It was a solid draft… do not get too carried away, give it a few years when evaluation becomes easier to grade as these assets get closer to maturing into NHL talent. Everything always looks good on paper, and the CBJ's are excited about their take.

On the trade front, we went to the fridge and got a solid presentation with former Buckeye R.J. Umberger. It boils down to the OSU product coming to Columbus for Foote and a fourth rounder. Not bad… not flashy… but I like the product. Another big body that can go to the net, coming off his best season and playoff as a pro, do not expect miracles from the 26-year old. He brings more grit and size, things that brings back to a city he learned his hockey lessons in and was taught a few things about life at the OSU campus. He will certainly feel at home.

Now it is time to listen to all the rumors and dealings as the free agent market is now upon us July 1st... Do not get too excited, as our staff has the patience to evaluate and not overpay, even at this time of need. An example of players looking to cash in has UFA (unrestricted free agent) John-Michael Liles resigning in Colorado for a possible 4-plus million a year for four years. That is a lot of money, even for a player respected for his puck moving abilities. There are only a few of these skilled defenseman in the FA (free agent) market, and they will get huge raises, deservedly or not!

Quick news around the NHL… Lecavalier appears to resign in Tampa Bay for nine years, $77 million… Brian Lawton is now the VP of Hockey Operations in TB… Bill Barber is getting out of the Player Development in TB for his own reasons, mainly the travel has caught up with him… Darcy Tucker and Kyle Wellwood are out of the Leafs plans for the future… Chris Chelios is close to resigning in Detroit, as his role will be redefined by GM Ken Holland…

Stay tuned as round two of more fun in the summer sun will be underway with Free Agency starting July 1st…


*Throughout the season, AAA brought you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings". The Columbus Blue Jackets broadcasters will try to keep you updated on all the offseason action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets get to the free agency period.

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