A number of the hockey sites around the SB Nation have been exchanging 3 questions with opposition sites prior to games this season. Dan Parker from the Cannon answered 3 questions we posed to him about the Blue Jackets.
After you read Dan's answers head over to The Cannon for their game day coverage which includes our answers to their 3 questions.
1. Do you see Steve Mason or Sergei Bobrovsky becoming the franchise's number one goaltender for period of years or do you see the need for the team to look elsewhere long term?
Both are RFAs at the end of this season. Steve Mason is done in Columbus after this season. His ridiculous contract is up, and there would be rioting in the streets of Columbus if he was resigned to anything more than a one-year deal. Bobrovsky is a bit more of a wild card. He's still on his ELC, and if he plays well there's no doubt he'll be back, simply because there's no one else immediately waiting. The Jackets have a moderate prospect in the AHL, and two very good prospects in their first year of CHL play after being drafted last summer. So, at worst, the team has to believe Bob can be a bridge to get to those guys, and his ceiling is that he can be a legit #1.
2. With rumors continuously swirling that the team could be realigned into the Eastern Conference, what are your thoughts on whether Columbus would fare better away from the likes of Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and Nashville?
Columbus has always played well against the Eastern Conference. From a pure business standpoint, they'd much better. There'd be cheaper travel, better TV ratings (the Jackets play so many road games that start at 10 or 10:30 PM locally), and more local rivalries (Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Toronto always draw well) to drive ticket sales. The franchise's belief is that it would be a great boost to their bottom line, and if the team continues to improve and continues to play better against the East, it would stand to reason the on-ice product would improve as well. That, too, would drive the business. It's no secret the team has been lobbying to move East ever since their inception.
3. When the team's respective general managers make their yearly trade later this season what can we expect to get from you guys?
Well, if Mike Smith continues to struggle, you can always get Curtis MacElhinney back! Columbus most likely won't be making a playoff push, so it will depend on what Phoenix would need. We don't really have a ton of pieces to move this year, as our team is loaded with young guys and character guys around which they're rebuilding the dressing room culture. We have a few 3/4 liners that could go that wouldn't cost too much and might bring you some energy, but that's probably not a piece a team making a playoff push would need. Adrian Aucoin might be the only real moving piece, so, ya know, if you're feeling nostalgic...