Jul 29, 2012, 2:41 PM EDT
The good? Columbus has more depth up front than ever before.
The bad? Columbus only has three players that have scored 20 or more goals in a single season…
…and the NHL average is seven.
It’s something Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger referenced in speaking with Portzline.
“We have a lot of second-line players,” Umberger said. “It’s definitely going to be a new-look team. It’s a group that will have to work really hard and earn everything we get. All the players are guys who feel like they really need to prove something.”
Umberger is one of the three that’s scored 20 in a single season — he’s done it five times. The others are Brandon Dubinsky (twice) and Vinny Prospal (five). It’s not exactly an ideal setup for a Blue Jackets team that only averaged 2.42 goals per game last season (26th overall), but those issues should be offset by the fact Columbus has more forward depth than ever before.
Just ask head coach Todd Richards.
“I think it’s interchangeable parts,” Richards said of all his new potential line combinations. “That’s how I’m approaching it. It gives me great flexibility on the bench. If I want to switch and change to something else, a different look for a different situation in the game, I’ll be able to do that pretty easily.”
For what it’s worth, Portzline reports Richards liked the Prospal-Mark Letestu–Cam Atkinson line that often played together last year and that Umberger, Dubinsky, Derick Brassard, Artem Anisimov and Nick Foligno “will figure into the mix in the top six.”
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 10
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 12
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 11
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 24
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 74
- Locked in: Columbus signs Saad to six-year, $36M deal 28
- Oilers sign McDavid to entry-level contract 29
- ‘Hawks would like to re-sign Oduya, but still working through ‘financial hurdles’ 17
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick 73
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)