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08-13-2012, 08:58 AM
Cyclones Rock
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Since their inception, the Jackets have been about as poor a team as any in the history of the NHL. The Washington Capitals were worse for their first 8 years but turned the corner in year 9 and became a respectable team. That timeline has already bypassed the Jackets and the franchise is nowhere close to where Washington was by year 10 of their history.

Nash had the misfortune of being drafted by this franchise. He had a very nice career in Columbus despite the fact that he was surrounded with AHL caliber talent for the most part. The collection of forwards on last season's squad was nothing shy of pitiful. There wasn't a single forward on the team who would have been on the NHL roster of an elite team, save perhaps Dorsette and MacKenzie who are third/fourth liners.

The addition of the forwards obtained in the trade and Foligno's acquisition virtually guarantee an improvement over last year's team even with the departure of Nash. If Nash would have been Stamkos, then I would have come to the same conclusion. It's pretty hard to fathom that the changes which have been made won't allow for the improvement of the worst team in the NHL.

However, the continued presence of the worst goalie in the NHL on the roster could allow an improved roster to replicate last season's results. 30-35 appearances by Mason will easily erase what improvements were made in the forward department during the off season.

At the end of the day, the player who will experience the most improvement this next season with respect to team play is Nash himself. He gets to play on a legitimate NHL team for the first time in his entire career.

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