Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Should CBJ Prospects Get Exposure?

It has been an interesting discussion to say the least throughout the Blue Jackets realm of the world whether youngsters gaining valuable experience in the minor leagues should be invited up to play with the big club for some of the remaining games.  Another promising year has all but passed, and we are left with these little fragments of criticism to round out the regular season.

Certainly, the exposure to the National Hockey League is highly valued for most prospects.  Each level of hockey provides different challenges and teaching those challenges seems all but impossible without actual exposure.  What will be debilitating at this point, would be to come up and watch a group of professionals play a stock game without any sense of urgency.  I would be far from convinced if someone were to tell me that the Jackets have been playing to their potential over the last few weeks, regardless of whether their output has been thwarted by the opposition.  This brings me into my next thought..

Should the Jackets brass really award their players with nights off in lieu of these younger players getting the opportunity to develop their games briefly on the NHL stage?  If you ask me, I think it is a complete sham that these guys are not getting verbally broken every time their lackluster hustle causes them to get beat on plays, and in games. It would almost seem like an award to a player to give them nights off, unless it is a character guy like Umberger or Calvert who would clearly be crushed by the thought of their play warranting a night in the press box.  This conveniently leads into my next point...

The topic of resting players was brought up early last week when discussion lead to assume that Ovechkin is being rested for the playoffs (all speculation of course, and broken last night when he was inserted into the lineup).  I think that is Washington's mistake to be made if true, but I am personally under the impression that it is extremely unfair to the fans showing up to the games to not ice the best team available.  With that thought in mind, I would hardly be surprised if the fans in Columbus would relish the opportunity to watch Kubalik over one of the Jackets current roster players, or see Stralman relegated to a suit to see Moore lace them up for an extended stay.

I say make the players finish what they started.  Training camp gives the youngsters a perfect opportunity to show their abilities, and it gives many of them the needed months of development and training period to really prepare themselves for extended stays with the big club.  I would much rather see the guys us fans have come to watch 77 times this year finish out strong, and that will be the expectation I will be bringing into each game from here on out.

Carry the Flag!

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