We’re on the cusp of a new National Hockey League season, and the saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” does not apply in Columbus, Ohio. To see what I mean, hop in the way-back machine and check out the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opening night lineup from October 7, 2011:
Radek Martinek, Marc Methot, Jeff Carter, Kris Russell, Matt Calvert, Cam Atkinson, Grant Clitsome, Derek Dorsett, Derrick Brassard, R.J. Umberger, Ryan Johansen, Vinny Prospal, Derek MacKenzie, Sammy Pahlsson, Antoine Vermette, Fedor Tyutin, David Savard, Rick Nash, Steve Mason
Better yet, enjoy the memories from opening night, October 8, 2010:
Marc Methot, Anton Stralman, Derek Dorsett, Derrick Brassard, R.J. Umberger, Ethan Moreau, Kristian Huselius, Mike Commodore, Derek MacKenzie, Sammy Pahlsson, Nikita Filatov, Jan Hejda, Jared Boll, Antoine Vermette, Fedor Tyutin, Rick Nash, Jakub Voracek, Rusty Klesla, Steve Mason
Oh heck, why no throw in the post-playoffs opening night lineup of October 3, 2009:
Marc Methot, Jan Hejda, Kris Russell, Raffi Torres, Derrick Brassard, Andrew Murray, R.J. Umberger, Kristian Huselius, Jason Chimera, Sammy Pahlsson, Nikita Filatov, Mathieu Roy, Jared Boll, Antoine Vermette, Fedor Tyutin, Rick Nash, Jakub Voracek, Rusty Klesla, Steve Mason
Like so much in the world of hockey record-keeping, this isn’t a perfect science. Jared Boll, for instance, was on the 2011-12 CBJ roster but didn’t get playing time in that season’s opener. But even with minor glitches like this, the picture is crystal clear.
This franchise has seen an overwhelming roster turnover since the team saw the playoffs in the spring of 2009.
Using the current CBJ depth chart as a basis for comparison, the team has five players slated for opening night 2013 that were on ice in the October 2009 opener. Five.
More recently, the team has seven players who were skating as Blue Jackets in the 2010 opener. Only eleven appeared in the opener just last season. Eleven players -
Eight players – from the “hope you enjoyed your cup of coffee in Columbus” Radek Martinek to the longtime All-Star workhorse in Rick Nash – from last season’s opening night lineup are gone. Replacing them are the likes of Brandon Dubinsky, Adrian Aucoin, Artem Anisimov, Nick Foligno and Sergei Bobrovsky.
So print out a new roster for this team because, for all intents and purposes, it’s the Columbus New Jackets in 2013.