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Sunday, August 5, 2007

One Piece at a Time...

The Dispatch had a great article today talking about the Jackets taking their time to build our team. This is something that I have been saying all along. You don't go from bottom feeder to Stanley Cup contender by adding a Briere it just doesn't happen. We have the talent in our organization we just need to develop them and then see where we are. When asked if we just don't want to win Howson had this to say:

"What would I say to that? I'd say we're trying to build a championship club, and build it the right way," Howson said. "I don't believe a team like ours -- where we're at right now -- can go for the quick fix and expect it to work. You don't miss the playoffs by (23) points one year, add a high-priced free agent and make that leap. That just doesn't happen. We're at the point where this club needs to grow and needs to develop from within."

The identity that we are trying to build for ourself is that we're big and we're hard to play against that's the goal.

"What we've done is enhance our identity, that we're a big club that's not easy to play against," Howson said. "The fans need to know that there will be a time when we go higher profile in our additions. It's probably not far off, either, but it's not right now."

Portzline pointed out the article where we go an F. If you don't know what I'm talking about I wrote something up on it here. And, it also has a quote from John Buccigross of ESPN saying:

"This is what should have been done from the get-go," said Buccigross, who has been critical of the Jackets in the past. "I always felt the initial plan they took was shortsighted. I agree with (Howson), that this is a time to step back, let (Sergei) Fedorov and (Adam) Foote play out the final year of their contracts and maybe try to move them at the trade deadline. They've got to give their young players lots of minutes, room to grow. And you've got the right coach in place (Ken Hitchcock) to begin molding those players."

He's right I have been saying this all along. Fedorov and Foote just need to play their hearts out this year and maybe they will get moved at the deadline maybe they won't...either way I appreciate what they have done for Columbus. Hitchcock is here to mold our players and he will do that...look what he did for Rick Nash last year in the short time he was here.

Portzie also highlights our players...saying:

Left winger Rick Nash is a budding superstar now, Hitchcock believes, not just a goal scorer. Right winger Nikolai Zherdev can't be any worse than he was last season (10 goals), can he?

Goaltender Pascal Leclaire is healthy (for now), and defensemen Rostislav Klesla and Ron Hainsey and forwards Dan Fritsche, Alexander Svitov and Gilbert Brule are emerging talents. Center Derick Brassard and defenseman Kris Russell are probably one year away from the NHL.

What's going on right now in the Blue Jackets organization is a rebuilding of sorts...with not only the team...not only the front office...but also the fan base. The fan base has developed new hope with Howson as GM. We the true fans know that this takes time. Us true fans...you know the ones that were still there at games after being shut out all the time...and still cheering as loud as we can for our boys. We're not looking for a Stanley Cup this year...hell I would say most of us aren't even looking to make the playoffs this year...we're looking for our players to develop...we just want a little glimpse of hope.

"Look, we have a lot to prove to people," Howson said. "Hopefully, the players feel that same way. I don't want to say we're going to surprise people. I'll just say that we have a lot of work to do. And you only do that by letting your actions speak louder than words."

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