Stole this link from our friends over on metro - good piece:
Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock experimented with Johnson playing right-wing for the final six games of the regular season.
“It went really well. They really liked me there,” said Johnson, the only Cape Bretoner to play in the NHL full time this season. “But when I had my year-end meeting they told me defence is definitely where I am going to play and they want me to continue working to develop my game.”
Development is an ongoing theme with the Blue Jackets, who have yet to advance to the playoffs in their seven-year history. They went 33-42-7 to finish 11th in the Western Conference this season.
Head coach Gerard Gallant was fired Nov. 13 after a 5-9-1 start. He was replaced by Hitchcock, who guided the Jackets to a 28-33-6 record.
“He’s extremely knowledgeable and he expects things done accordingly and with 110-per cent effort,” Johnson said of Hitchcock, who has a reputation of being a demanding coach. “I think he was exactly what our team needed, a push, a kick in the butt. It was good.”
Good link, thanks Shelf. I'm not too sure how I feel about AJ in general, but I'm glad there is some sort of plan for the offseason and next season instead of "aw shucks, we'll just get better magically since our roster is so good!"
Good. Don't know what happened at AJ when Hitch arrived, but he became tentative both with and without the puck, which led to reduced ice time. In his second regular stint with the CBJ (end of '05-06 season) you could tell he had filled out physically and he was playing with confidence, if not perfect positioning/puck poise. If he can get back that confidence, and build on it with better all-around play (maybe one more full year in the 'Cuse??), his upside as a d-man - second pairing guy with some offensive potential — is better than his forward upside.
"Every game, every point is a necessity." -- Ty Conklin, January 2007
"I'll have a chance to compete for the post of first issue. This is the most important thing." -- Sergei Bobrovsky, June 2012
With AJ being a RFA this year, DM holds the cards similar to the Fritsche situation last year. I think AJ needs to sign a two way contract which would be good for both the team and AJ. AJ could get the playing time he needs to develop and the two way would allow an instant call up when needed.