Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Foundation of Hockey…Brought to You

Posted by AlisonL on September 27, 2012
Arena Experience, TweetUp / No Comments

Perhaps the biggest gift professional athletes have is that they make the most difficult things look easy. When we watch players play hockey, they seemingly glide effortlessly across the ice at ridiculous speeds. What we marvel at is their stick handling, the dekeing en route to a gorgeous goal, the fight that rallies the crowd. But about seven months ago, I decided I was going to play hockey. Now, when I watch hockey, while I appreciate all those things, my commentary is “did you see that transition?” “I can’t BELIEVE what that guy just did on his skates!”  That is because the first thing I had to do was learn how to skate…as most everyone will tell you, skating is the foundation of playing hockey. You have to be a good skater before you can be good at hockey.

There are a lot of phenomenal skating classes out there today, including those offered by the local Chillers but sometimes, committing to an 8 week class, and the associated fees can be a challenge when one is still trying to figure things out.

It is with this in mind, that the Union Blue is proud to bring you a Hockey Skating Class!

Join us SUNDAY, October 21st – 4 – 6 PM for two hours of on-ice instruction on how to SKATE LIKE A HOCKEY PLAYER!

Come out and join us at The Ice Haus!

For $20, you can join in a class that will show you not just “how to skate” but the techniques that are unique to skating for the game.

You don’t need to be a great skater – you just need to be able to move on the ice in skates without having to hold on to the boards at all times. Even if you are currently playing hockey, this class can help you focus on doing things the right way and honing in on your skating technique.

You don’t need to own skates – you can rent them at the rink.

If you have a stick, you can bring it, but you don’t need any pads – just yourself and skates on your feet.

We’ll also have a visit by Stinger, Jackets TV some Blue Jackets swag to give away…and perhaps a couple more surprises.

If you would like to join us, RSVP today. To state your intent to join, you can comment in our Forum HERE. To confirm your spot, we need to receive your money. Once you have commented that you’ll be joining, I’ll message you mailing information. To ensure that everyone can get attention during the class, spots are limited so RSVP TODAY.

If you have any questions, you are also more than welcome to email me at

Learning how to skate has only grown my appreciation for the sport of hockey and the work that goes into playing at even the most basic level. I love my time on the ice, and even though there’s a lockout, we can still bring hockey to life in Columbus.


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NHL Lockout Survival Guide

Posted by CBJProspects on September 18, 2012
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / 1 Comment

Well, the September 15th deadline has passed and the NHL has locked out its players for the third time since 1994. All three under Gary Bettman (make your own three strikes you’re out joke, even thought it’s probably already been told). But I’m here as your friendly neighborhood prospect geek/guru/whatever to give you some alternatives to help get you through this troubling time. As a reference, if I say how far away something is in this piece, it’s the distance from Nationwide Arena according to Googlemaps. I figure I would use a place we all know as a starting point.

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The Sound of Silence

Posted by AlisonL on September 16, 2012
Columbus Blue Jackets / 2 Comments

Photo Courtesy of Chris Blake

There’s a noise that I love. It’s the sound of a hockey player taking the ice. Under the strength and edge of a stainless steel blade, the ice crunches. It’s like no other noise – it’s not a scrape, it’s not anything that can be replicated in any other way. When I hear it, it simultaneously brings up feelings of excitement, awe and competition.

The sound of blade taking to the ice means it’s time for hockey. It means R-Bar is packed and my favorite usher is at the ready at the Arena. It means hoping for the boom of the cannon and wearing a hockey sweater all evening long.

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2012-13 CBJ CHL & European Prospect Season Preview

Posted by CBJProspects on September 13, 2012
Prospects / No Comments

With the Blue Jackets prospects’ seasons right around the corner, I thought I’d give you a two part preview on all the CHL, NCAA and European Prospects. The first part of the series will focus on the CHL and European players. Along with my usual stuff, I’ve asked a few of the writers I follow to help me out.

Starting off in the CHL, the Jackets have nine total prospects, but five of them have options. By options, I mean they can play pro hockey or go back to juniors. Those five are Boone Jenner, Dalton Smith, Michael Chaput, Austin Madaisky and 2nd overall pick Ryan Murray. Of those five, Jenner and Murray are in the same boat as Ryan Johansen last season, as they can only play in the NHL or juniors. For this preview, I’m only going to focus on the guys that will spend the whole season in the CHL or Europe.

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Expectations, Points per Game and the Blue Jackets Forwards

Posted by The Coach on September 11, 2012
Columbus Blue Jackets, Roster Talk, Stats / 2 Comments

The Blue Jackets forwards corps have undergone a massive overhaul this offeason. Gone is Rick Nash, and with him the semblance of having a traditional top line. Much discussion has happened over the summer of how the forwards will look this coming season. The Cannon has been breaking down the battles we should see in training camp, and a lot of the comments have been focused on a “Top Six” versus “Top Nine” approach. There are a number of schools of thought on how to build a forward group. Some people, like Toronto GM Brian Burke, prefer a Top Six-Bottom Six approach (ie. six offensive forwards, six defensive/checking forwards). Vancouver has built a specialized line up consisting of a pure offense 1st line, solid two-way 2nd line, defensive specialist 3rd line, and rugged 4th line. Boston rolls three lines who are capable in both ends of the rink. Last season the Jackets planned to have three lines capable of scoring, with one shutdown group. While that failed for a number of reasons (impatience, coaching, and personnel), I think we are going to see something in between that approach and the Boston approach in 2012-13.

But what exactly does this mean? The potential for an offensive struggle is something I have been batting around in my mind since the Nash trade. The Blue Jackets don’t appear to have any 1st line talents, but a large contingent of 2nd to 3rd liners. It’s difficult to see how this compares to other teams, as so many factors come into play. To quantify these players, I took a very simple approach: points per game. I broke down every forwards who played at least 27 games last season, then split them into approximately the top 90 forwards (ie. three forwards per team), the second 90 forwards, and the third 90 forwards, with any players below being “4th liners”. With this breakdown complete, I was able to look at forwards and teams in a number of ways, from what that means practically, to the availability of each group of players, to how those players fit into their teams for next season.

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