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09-09-2012, 09:30 PM
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TheDrizzle81
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Press Release from tonights presser.

A Jacket of a Different Color

Sunday, 9.9.2012 / 9:53 PM / News
By Blue Jackets Staff - Writer


Last week, with the new NHL/NHLPA agreement in place, the Columbus Blue Jackets parted ways with GM Scott Howson. In came little known hockey mind, Randy (Drizz81) Ridgway. While most of the league was busy adjusting to the new rules and regulations, Ridgway was busy building. Today everyone knows who he is, in one week he and his management team has been able to send shockwaves through the hockey world by acquiring top flight talent to win now and win tomorrow.

Out are long time Jackets R.J Umberger and Steve Mason, as well as Jared Boll, James Wisneiwski, Gianluca Curcurto, Nick Foligno, Austin Madaisky, John Moore and Jack Johnson. Highlighting the “in” crowd is Stanley Cup winning goaltender from Los Angeles, Jonathan Bernier, and Finals runner up, Devils forward, David Clarkson. Brooks Orpik joins from Pittsburgh to help bolster the blue line along with former Devil, Mark Fayne. Ridgway also sprinkled the organization with quality assets at every position both at the NHL and AHL levels. Today he met with the press briefly to discuss the state of the team.

Q: After a busy week are there any plans to continue making moves?
A: No, there really aren’t “plans” to make moves. You kick tires and talk and sometimes things happen. Who knows we will see.
Q: This roster has had quite a turnover since the team last hit the ice in April. How confident are you this team will be competitive?
A: I am very confident. Our team as well as Minnesota really bridged the gap to the powerhouse teams like Detroit and Chicago. We are NOT going to be a push over or an easy W. If these guys believe in each other they will win. Simple as that. We don’t need a huge name to lead us. Everyone on this roster is a big name.
Q: Speaking of big names, Evgeni Malkin was traded from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles. Rumor has it you were involved in those talks. True?
A: I’m paid to win. Losing is not an option. Playing poor and drafting high every year hoping to be like Pittsburgh is completely unrealistic. I will do anything to increase our chance to win now. These fans pay good money to see a winner, and I would be doing the fans of the Blue Jackets an extreme disservice if I wasn’t seriously involved in acquiring Malkin. We were. However in the end I am glad we didn’t win out on him because at the price he would have cost, I got many more pieces for way less. It worked out great for us. It’s a beautiful thing.

Q: With the entire buzz around the moves in the Atlantic Division this week, you have been in the middle of it all. Why all the dealing with those teams?
A: Scott (Howson, former GM) made the Nash trade with New York and really gave us some great pieces. Philadelphia called about R.J. (Umberger) and we got Briere, who Pittsburgh wanted and offered Orpik. It just so happened Philly, New York, Pittsburgh and New Jersey had what I wanted, and I had what they wanted. I look forward to seeing those teams play, and hopefully see one of them this June.

Q: Lost in all the star power is the fact the young nucleus is still intact. Was that the plan?
A: That is the beautiful thing. Acquiring all pro talent as well as keeping those young players you believe will lead your team for years. I also feel we got great guys to add to that nucleus in Tedenby, Urbom, Ebert, etc. We have a lot to be excited for today and tomorrow that is for sure. We are a playoff team anything less is a failure.

Also addressed was the captaincy of the club, to which Ridgway replied “that’s on the coaching staff, personally I would rather these guys hang out and pick their leader on their own.” Training camp will open in 3 weeks, and 2 weeks from Tuesday the team will hold its “Meet the Players” event. For more info visit bluejackets.nhl.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on twitter @BlueJacketsNHL


Last edited by TheDrizzle81: 09-09-2012 at 09:57 PM.
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