Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson is pleased with the additions made this summer, but realizes they must translate into success on the ice.
The Blue Jackets failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, but went 15-1-1 over the final 17 games of the regular season. Since then, they've acquired forward Brandon Saad from the Chicago Blackhawks and signed forward Gregory Campbell as a free agent.
"I like our club, a lot of people like our club, but we have to go out and perform," Davidson told the The Columbus Dispatch. "We haven't proven anything to anybody yet."
Saad, who was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1, was traded June 30 by the Blackhawks to the Blue Jackets along with prospects Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst for forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round pick at the 2016 NHL Draft.
Saad, who had 23 goals and 29 assists in 82 games last season, joins a forward group that includes Ryan Johansen, Nick Foligno, Scott Hartnell, Cam Atkinson and Brandon Dubinsky.
But Davidson isn't planning any parades yet.
"Paper is paper," Davidson said. "We have a lot of really good players in place now, but we have to go out and prove it.
"I remember being in New York (with the Rangers, as a broadcaster) one year when they spent $85 million on the roster and it didn't work. You'd look at that team and you'd swear it was an All-Star team. But it was a group of stars, not a team. We have a strong identity, and we have players buying in, but we have to prove it now."