Columbus taking care of business off the ice - on ice is another story

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Ohio Jones, Apr 8, 2007.

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  1. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

    Feb 28, 2002
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    Great White North
    CD - Nationdie Arena, Columbus

    The Columbus Blue Jackets today announced several player signings, as GM Doug Emerson works to get the roster in shape for the 2007-08 season.

    Pending UFAs Arron Asham, Andrew Brunette, and captain Keith Carney have all agreed to multi-year deals. Also signed were prospect FAs Chris Connor and Alex Leavitt.

    While these deals help to shore up the organization's future, its present is looking less and less rosy. Columbus dropped a 6-3 decision today to the Chicago Blackhaws, close on the heels of a loss to the Nashville Predators: both teams behind them in the conference standings. With the loss, the Jackets' record drops to 27-26-8-3, good enough for 10th in the West.

    Considering this was a team in contention for home ice at one point int he seaosn, the drop-off is considerable, if unsurprising: in recent weeks, the Jackets have traded away Martin Brodeur, Ed Belfour, Slava Kozlov, Brendan Shanahan, Mattias Norstomr, Steve Begin and Geoff Sanderson, essentially gutting their roster in return for picks, prospects and young HFNHLers.

    Clearly this is a team building for the future; unfortunately their fans will have to put up with an increasingly ugly present.

    * * *

    About the new guys:

    Alex Leavitt led the ECHL in scoring as a rookie last season with 26 goals and 91 points in 72 games and was named rookie of the year. He was also instrumental in the Aces Kelly Cup win with 13 points in 16 postseason games. The 23-year-old played part of this season for the Houston Aeros before getting signed to an NHL contract by Phoenix, who assigned him to their affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.

    With his career looking more secure, Leavitt has since gone on a scoring rampage of his own, posting 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in just 14 games, along with 18 pims and an astounding +14. He has speed, vision and tremendous playmaking skill, but at just 5-10/175, he will have to prove he can stand up physically to the pro game if he wants to get a shot at the bigs.

    Chris Connor won a spot in the NHL Dallas organization with a strong showing as a Free Agent in the Traverse City prospects tournament last fall, and followed it up with a good season for the Iowa Stars of the AHL, scoring 33 points in 46 games alongside fellow HFNHL Jackets prospect Marty Sertich. Like Leavitt, the 5-8/175 forward will have to prove he can survive the tough going of a full seaon in the pros to earn an NHL shot.

    Milo Minderbinder
    Columbus Discoverer

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