COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - It seems like a long time - maybe forever - since the Columbus Blue Jackets came into a season with this much hope, hype and confidence.
The trade for high-scoring Jeff Carter, and the signings of defenseman James Wisniewski and sniper Vinny Prospal would buoy the spirits of any team. But in particular, those additions have been a breath of fresh air to a franchise that has only tasted the postseason once in its 11 seasons.
Suddenly, the Blue Jackets are building a young, experienced group as they open training camp later this week.
They also added a full-time goalie coach to help develop the erratic Steve Mason, a star three years ago who has regressed.
No wonder the players and coaches are so excited to get started.