COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets assigned defenseman Filip Novak to the Syracuse Crunch, the club's American Hockey League affiliate, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today.
Novak, 24, was scoreless with two penalty minutes and a +2 plus/minus rating in four games for Columbus this season. He has tallied 1-12-13 and 41 penalty minutes in 22 games with the Crunch. The Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, native was the New York Rangers' first pick, 64th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He has registered four penalty minutes in 12 career NHL games, including 11 with the Ottawa Senators in 2005-06. He has 20-84-104 and 264 penalty minutes 212 career AHL games.
Novak's played tough. He really impressed me last night. We really need Foote back though. I'm not a huge fan of Foote, but we need him badly. With Westcott back and already playing pretty well, Foote will be a huge boost. Hainsey, Eriksson, Johnson, and Klesla have to be exhausted.
Good. This means we are closer to getting our top 6 defensemen together than since before hitch took over. I'm still banking on Berard coming back, even though most of you arent... but it seems like Hitch has been happy with AJs play as of late, so I think he has the edge over OKT right now.
We couldve used Foote last night to be a physical presence, if nothing else. Duvie and Hainsey are extremely valuable, dont get me wrong, but when Rusty is on the bench there arent really any defensemen who are making the other team scared to take the puck into the zone. Rusty, OKT, and Foote are the three I see that are capable of making an opponent pay the price. AJ and Duvie are borderline - in the sense that they will throw the body around, but just arent exactly punishing. And then theres Hainsey and Eriksson on the other spectrum - the "poke-check only" or "might hit you on accident" types.
In order of physicality
Rusty, OKT, Foote, Duvie, AJ, Hainsey, Eriksson
Tell me if I'm wrong, but I just cant remember the last time I saw Hainsey or Eriksson hit anyone.