Aug 13, 2012, 1:51 PM EST
When next season starts (whenever that may be) it’ll be the first time since 2002-03 the Blue Jackets will do so without Rick Nash.
Can they do it successfully though? All isn’t quite as bleak as you’d think.
Columbus’ other top scorers last season were veterans Vinny Prospal, who had just five fewer points than Nash, Derick Brassard and R.J. Umberger. The latter two had just 41 and 40 points respectively but when you throw Dubinsky and Anisimov into the mix, their 36 and 34 points can at least, in theory, help make up for Nash’s departure.
When you add them to an interesting mix of players that includes former Senator Nick Foligno as well as potential future star Ryan Johansen and spark plug winger Cam Atkinson, there’s some hope there.
Atkinson was a big scorer at Boston College and did well in the AHL last season, meanwhile Johansen was coddled last season and could breakout if given the minutes to show what he’s got. Keeping him buried on the fourth or in the press box line doesn’t do him any favors.
These aren’t superstar players nor do they have the marquee credibility, but if coach Todd Richards can get them playing together as a team, there’s opportunity for growth. After all, it’s not as if the Central Division got better this offseason.
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 141
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 97
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 116
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 14
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 87
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (180)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (143)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (127)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (116)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (97)