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03-13-2013, 10:39 AM
pete goegan
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From today' Dispatch:

By winning, they still could be losing, a situation the frustrated fan base knows only too well. In nine of the Blue Jackets’ 13 drafts, their first pick ranged from No. 4 to No. 8, which means they have been just good enough to miss out on the top picks that have become the game’s biggest stars.
The current situation is more complicated. If the Jackets are on the upswing, if they are finding their identity, changing the losing culture and building a positive atmosphere, that might be even better than getting a top draft pick and planting him on a team stuck at the bottom of the league.
It makes for an interesting discussion everywhere but in the Blue Jackets’ locker room: Players don’t play for draft picks.
“You talk to anybody in the room, you’re in the moment, you’re playing for now,” coach Todd Richards said. “You’re playing for this season. You aren’t playing for next year. You’re not playing for three or four years down the road. We’re playing for right now.”
With five straight victories and a shootout loss that added another point, “right now” is pretty good. But after the Jackets get through this stretch of nine of 10 games at home, they finish the season with 12 of 17 on the road, which is where this starts to get hairy.
If the Blue Jackets win enough to separate themselves from the bottom feeders and then have a bad finish, they don’t get the benefits of losing — a top pick — or of winning, another lose-lose for a franchise up to its proverbial neck in them.
As dire as that sounds, this might be a good place for the worrywarts among us to take a deep breath. John Davidson, the team’s president of hockey operations, talks about “the integrity of a group of players working hard every night and playing their best” being important to him, and said that if the team gets a lower pick “it’s our job” to pick the right player.
He said the best player the team drafted while he was the Blues’ team president and new Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen was the director of amateur scouting — defenseman Alex Pietrangelo — was a fourth overall pick, and that was the highest pick they had when they turned that franchise around.
At a time when winning induces panic, this should serve reassuring reminders that there are new guys in charge in Columbus, and being the worst of the worst isn’t the only way to win.

So rare that Hunter writes anything with which I can agree!

Last edited by SuperGenius: 03-19-2013 at 10:34 PM.
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