For the first time in a long time – the year ahead holds real promise, and – aside from the Hockey News – people are optimistic. (No link intentionally to that ranking) And to bake that cake, well you have to break some eggs. And that means that some of us are faced with the uncertainty of what will happen to our long standing crushes, favorites, and stalker targets. A hot discussion topic that’s appeared more than I can remember in past seasons is “who are the healthy scratches?”
Our dear Julie has already had to grieve the loss of her beloved Jake, but who is next? If we believe that the roster changes both in Columbus and Springfield hold as much promise as we’re told, there’s simply not enough roster spots for those who are here, and those who are “coming up”. Will we see the writing on the wall during training camp? Will there be a pre-season surprise of who comes or (gulp!) who goes? Will someone spend an inordinate (depending on who you ask!) time in the Press Box before finding their way to another roster?
We. Just. Don’t. Know.
Now Dark Blue Jacket will tell you (or, er, me ;) ) that this is why he doesn’t own a jersey with any Jacket player* – past or present. That we need to choose team over player. And, allow me to be clear (sets Dorsett love to the side for one brief second) I AGREE 100%. But, if we really are on the trajectory that we think we are, some of the guys we’ve loved to watch for years aren’t going to be around much longer. (Climbs right back on Dorsett train).
So to those of you who, like me, have tremendous love for someone who’s not sitting pretty with an assured spot on the top two lines (and whose name isn’t Johansen ;) ) here’s what I say, let’s remember to take all this in. For some guys, this season may (may! may not!) contain the last games they play in Union Blue. So in the midst of anxiety, expectation, and years of pent up, um…frustration regarding this team, let’s take time to appreciate our players – what they do, what they’ve done, and, should they leave us, may we wish them well. None of us knows what will happen or who will – or will not – step up this year.
For those we lose along the way – remember, even if that loss is critical to this team’s growth and long term success, somewhere, someone is probably grieving the loss of their favorite Jacket (I mean, c’mon, now that Strahlman is gone, everyone’s going to be missed by SOMEONE ;) ). So be kind to those who may lose a beloved Jacket, and remember to try and appreciate everyone’s game. Hopefully, this is a year we’ll all remember for much more good than bad.
Let’s Go Jackets! #CallToArms
[FULL DISCLAIMER: I remain loyal in my belief that Derek Dorsett with continue to contribute throughout this season - ON THE ICE in Nationwide Area (I have to circumvent all of Jeff Little's caveats) and be a valuable Jacket as we make our way into the Pl*yoffs!!!!]
*His CBJ jersey reads Mirasty. But he never played a league game on the CBJ roster ;)