The second Thursday edition of our #CBJ Community Spotlight features one of the most knowledgeable #CBJ/hockey fans I know. Having grown up in Canada, Dan Edwards (@Canadan82) had the total immersion in the sport that most of us Columbus have not. Whenever I have a question about a rule, strategy or hockey concept I’m not familiar with he’s usually my go-to guy for information. Dan is also one of the pioneers of the new #CBJ blog theUnionBlue.com (formerly “Carry The Flag”).
Who is Dan? In his own words:
I’m just another passionate Columbus Blue Jackets fan, a general hockey enthusiast, and not unlike the guys who lace them up, enjoy as much golf as I can in the summer. I grew up in Ontario, yet somehow avoided becoming a Leafs fan long enough for Columbus to get a franchise.
I contribute over at The Union Blue, am a TweetUp fanatic, and am deeply enthralled with Chipotle, Piada, and Tim Hortons. Consider those bonus factoids!!
On to the questions!
The easy questions:
1. Favorite #CBJ player & why:
I’m hard pressed to pick one, but if I had to pick right now it’d probably be Brassard. His vision with the puck astounds me at times, and I really think he’s got the potential to be a legitimate top line center in this league.
2. Favorite non-#CBJ player & why:
Jeff Carter As much as it hurts to talk about a rival, it has to be Johnny Toews. I’ve been following him for a long time and I absolutely love what he brings to the game of hockey. I’d pay a premium to see him as our captain.
3. Favorite #CBJ moment:
Game 4. I don’t need to tell you which one, but my reasons should be obvious. It was a true hockey moment in Columbus, and something that has been engrained in my memory. The crowd was unbelievable and the passion for the team was absolutely stunning to behold.
4. Favorite general hockey moment:
The 02 Olympic Gold for Canada. That game was incredible, and I remember everything about where I was and the complete lack of commentary from my phone after the second period.
5. Team you would root for if #CBJ had never existed (not moved):
I was an Ottawa fan before I became a Columbus fan, but they managed to destroy everything I loved about that team. I’d probably be in team limbo if it were not for the CBJ.
6. Favorite non-#CBJ jersey (in general, not that you own):
The London Knights jerseys in the OHL – My hometown soft spot and that logo is awesome!
Some tougher questions:
7. What are your expectations for the #CBJ in the next 1, 3 and 5 years:
I expect them to perform every year. Despite the terrible results, I am confident in their ability to become a playoff team with a few major adjustments (which I expect this summer). A top pick in the draft will bolster their offensive future alongside Ryan Johansen, and their payroll looks like there will be plenty of room to add solid depth to the roster. In five years, I better be watching a couple of CBJ playoff rounds at least!
8. If you were GM of the #CBJ, who do you draft at second overall & why:
This obviously all depends on where Edmonton goes with their pick, but it’s down to Yakupov or Galchenyuk for me. Yakupov seems to be the guy who can impact the roster in the more immediate sense, but Galchenyuk being a center is a real benefit to a team like Columbus, who seems to still be waiting for the best option in that slot. I do worry about injuries, but it seems like most of what I’ve read would suggest he’s a strong option despite his injury history.
9. Would you rather see the #CBJ be more competitive next season but miss the playoffs or get another high draft pick & why:
I really don’t see how they could match their totals from this year again. The team is in a great spot to gain outside interest with the ASG coming to town, and with the right trade for Nash and a quality player in the draft, I simply can’t imagine it being a legitimate possibility to be equally as bad. I have said for a while that they haven’t played bad enough in years past despite missing the playoffs, but I’m done with that. It’s time to make an impact, and if they barely miss out on a playoff spot, I’ll be fine… For now..
10. Can you list something(s) that you like and something(s) you’d like to see changed with the #CBJ community:
Something I like: I like that despite one of the worst seasons in the history of the franchise, the fans still came out to watch the team. I’ve checked the attendance records of other bottom dwellers throughout the past, and it gets pretty awful. In Columbus’ case, they actually managed to increase attendance. Something I’d like to see Changed: I would love to see the Columbus area get more educated on hockey and the Blue Jackets in general. Obviously there is interest, but smarter fans are better fans as far as I’m concerned.
11. Who are 5 #CBJ twitter accounts you think more people should be following?
- @LeoWelsh – Easily the best anthem singer around, and a great guy. LEEOOO!!!!
- @MarcMethot3 – One of my favs, and he does a great job of interacting with the fans.
- @RobMixer – He doesn’t need more followers, but he deserves my shout out. MixyMix!!
- @UnionBlueCBJ – My new home, and something I’m very excited about – Check it out!
- @Bunktuzzi44 – The guy makes everything more fun. Hard to get mad when he’s tweeting.
12. Any shout outs you want to give or blogs/twitter accounts you want to help promote?
There is such a great group of CBJ bloggers that I’d like to promote all of them. Obviously I won’t make a list, but The Union Blue has a great page of recommended blogs/sites that I think people would really benefit from checking out. Go check it out! theunionblue.com/links/
13. Any final thoughts… on anything?
It’s been a really rough year as a fan of the CBJ (and winning) but I’m not so sure I’d change a thing. As much as we took a step back, we’re moving forward with hopefully the right pieces in place. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the franchise, and I’m constantly feeling grateful of my experiences in meeting other fans and getting to know the awesome people involved in the #CBJTweetUp community. Carry the Flag!