From a purely sentimental point of view, I hate the idea of Vybes going, since he’s my favorite player, and an original Blue Jacket. But with the way he’s played this season, his future with the club seems none too certain in any case, so if it improves the team, I can accept it.
Losing a defenseman isn’t great. As overpaid and past his prime as Foote is in Columbus, he does eat up a lot of minutes and provide leadership on a young team. I’ll miss that, if not his untimely penalties. But if it’s between Foote or Klesla, I’d rather have it be Foote, since he’s likely gone at the end of this season anyway. Klesla looks like he’s never going to be the player we hoped he would be back when the Hockey News tagged him the best player outside the NHL, but he’s slowly rounded into form as a decent defenseman, and one can always hope that there’s still some upside waiting to come out with him.
I can’t say I know a lot about any of the players rumored to be coming back. I don’t really follow the Rangers. Howson did make some decent FA signings with Hejda and Novotny and Peca, so at this point I’m inclined to trust his judgment. We shall see. Adds a little extra intrigue to the game with the Thrashers tonight. Will we see players mysteriously scratched? Or will we be seeing the last games in CBJ uniforms of one or two original Jackets?