With roughly four weeks to go until the start of training camp, the Blue Jackets are laying low until camp begins. That is not to say the team is completely devoid of news, however. Every Tuesday, Dan Parker presents WFNY’s The 5-Hole, bringing you up to date with the goings-on of the CBJ…
The Week That Was
The Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reports, from a conversation with the agent for #1 draft pick Nikita Filatov, that-
“We’re getting fairly close to getting clearance, in terms of him getting his visa,’ Meehan said. ‘I would think by the end of the next week, he’ll get it. That’s the last conversation I had with a contract (at the U.S. Embassy).”
There is also the slight issue with a ruling expected to come down from the International Ice Hockey Federation within the week regarding the disputed contracts of Filatov and five other Russian players. The dispute has to do with Filatov’s Russian League (The Kontinental Hockey League, or KHL) claiming that, because of an outstanding contract, Filatov and the other players can not legally sign contracts with their respective NHL teams without providing compensation to release him from his KHL obligations. This ruling will technically have no bearing on Filatov’s ability to play for Columbus, as the IIHF has no jurisdiction over either the NHL or the KHL, but it could bar the six players from international competition such as future Olympic Games or World Championships.
Portzline also threw out this little tidbit about Filatov-
“Looked up the translation of Nikita Filatov’s name. Nikita means ‘inconquerable.’ Filat, or Filatov, means ‘God-guard.’ Inconquerable God Guard. Not a bad name.”
While it has no bearing on his ability to play hockey or to make the Jackets’ squad out of camp, it is a pretty sweet name. Much cooler than “Dan Parker” anyway.
The Hockey News 2008-2009 Yearbook was released, and it predicts a 12th-place finish in the Western Conference for the Blue Jackets, which would leave them well out of the playoffs. The silver lining is that it rates the Blue Jackets’ top-10 prospects very highly (an A-minus grade), posting them sixth in the league overall.
Finally, tickets for exhibition games went on sale on Saturday morning. They can be purchased at the arena in downtown Columbus and/or through the Team Site, or your ticket venue of choice.
No additional injuries or updates have been reported since last week’s post.
Quote of the Week
“He fights with zero defense and welcomes punches to his face with a big smile. His warrior spirit is reminiscent to that of his deceased Indian Warrior heroes, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Geronimo.”
www.jonmirasty.com, website for Jackets’ minor-league forward Jon “Nasty” Mirasty, who amassed 181 penalty minutes in 55 games in Syracuse and has been invited to training camp. Mirasty is a Cree Indian who was raised on a reservation and was recently featured in an ESPN.com article about hockey brawlers.
Blue Jackets Calendar:
Rookies and prospects report for physicals and fitness tests on Friday, September 12th
Prospects’ tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, Saturday September 13th – Wednesday September 17th
Veterans report for physicals and fitness tests on Friday, September 19th
First full practice in Columbus on Saturday, September 20th
First exhibition game on Tuesday, September 23rd in Chicago against the Blackhawks
First regular season game on Friday, October 10th in Dallas against the Stars
Home opener on Friday, October 17th against the Nashville Predators