Every Tuesday, WFNY’s The 5-Hole brings you up to date with the goings-on of the CBJ…
The Week That Was
FSN Ohio aired its pre-season team special this past Saturday (during the OSU game, so it was probably not highly watched). The show included interviews with GM Scott Howson, coach Ken Hitchcock and many of the players. If you missed it (and I’m guessing most of the FSNOH viewing area did), it will be on again several times: 9/10, 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; 9/12, 6:30 p.m.; 9/13, 5 p.m.; 9/16, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; 9/18, 6 p.m. The show is a good way to introduce fans to the new players, as many are discussed and interviewed, including #1 pick Nikita Filatov.
Speaking of Filatov, he flew into Toronto on Monday evening, and is expected to arrive in Columbus today (Tuesday 9/9). This is a day earlier than originally expected; he was to fly into Toronto on the 7th with his parents, and spend a few days there. Instead, he’s flying solo, and his family is expect to visit Columbus in a few weeks. Aaron Portzline reports that the change in itinerary is so that Filatov can get to Columbus as soon as possible and begin working.
20-year old goaltending prospect Steve Mason is planning on participating in training camp after spending the summer rehabbing after surgery for a torn meniscus. Tom Reed reports that, though Mason hasn’t suffered any setbacks during his rehab, he hasn’t actually skated since April. The good news is that his rehabbing workouts are beginning to resemble hockey motions. He can now get himself into the famed “Butterfly” that goalies use when reacting to shots, which is something he could not do as recently as last month.
Mason will not be participating in the prospects’ tournament next week in Michigan. “We’re not going to put him in a situation he or we are uncomfortable with,” Howson said regarding the injury. “Caution is going to be the overriding theme.”
The 5-Hole would be shocked if he begins the year with the big club, since he has not played any kind of hockey in several months. The best course of action for him would be to play at Syracuse every day, getting himself ready for a call-up, if needed.
Portzline reports that defensemen Ole-Kristian Tollefsen is fully recovered from neck surgery. He brings an edgy presence to the back line, and his toughness on the ice would be most welcome, if he is able to crack the top-six defensive lineup. Already behind Rostislav Klesla and Jan Hejda before the off-season spending/trading spree, the additions of Mike Commodore, Fedor Tyutin, and Christian Backman will make cracking the lineup that much tougher for Tollefsen. He will have to battle touted youngster Kris Russell, for one.
Quote of the Week
“[Ole-Kristian Tollefsen] was not himself last season, but he had to be ordered out of the lineup. Along the way, a few guys had their way with the Norwegian Nightmare, and he hasn’t forgotten. If I know OKT, he’s got a mental list of the perpetrators.”
–Aaron Portzline in his Dispatch CBJ blog, discussing the return to health of enforcer defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen.
Blue Jackets Calendar:
- #1 pick Nikita Filatov arrives in Columbus today (9/9)
- Rookies and prospects report for physicals and fitness tests on Friday, September 12th
- Prospects’ tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, Saturady 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