The 2022-23 season for the Columbus Blue Jackets has been nothing short of crazy. From their rash of injuries to the play on the ice, they have had a lot of crazy things happen.
From top-to-bottom, frustration has been experienced all throughout the team. The excitement of landing Johnny Gaudreau in free agency quickly faded away as the Blue Jackets kept dropping in the standings. Injury after injury piled on and seemed never ending. It even got head coach Brad Larsen dreading the sight of Head Athletic Trainer Mike Vogt. Seeing him meant more bad news was forthcoming.
This season has been mostly bad news. Outside of a couple of performances here and there, this has been a season to forget for the Blue Jackets. Not only do they need to turn the page, they have a lot of work ahead of them.
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This week in Part 1 of our Blue Jackets’ Long Read, President of Hockey Operations John Davidson stopped by for a Q&A. We discuss many topics including the frustration of this season and the work that lies ahead. He was brutally honest with his assessment of the situation. The one thing you can count on is that there is no one more frustrated about the state of things than management.
MS: You’ve been through so much just based on what you’ve seen this season. Is this among the most frustrating seasons in terms of everything you’ve seen from injuries to what you’ve seen on the ice and everything that you’ve seen in your career?
Davidson: “I’d say yes, I’d say for a number of different reasons. And when you add them all up, it’s something that’s been very difficult for everyone to go through. The support that we’ve gotten from our fans has been remarkable. There’s an understanding that we did have a slow start. We started with the injuries and it came in Game 1 when (Patrik) Laine was banged up. And it hasn’t stopped. That’s one thing. I’m a no-excuse guy. I don’t believe in excuses, but there’s reality involved, and that’s had a hindrance on our group from Cleveland through Columbus. It’s been difficult for everybody.”
“It’s also provided some opportunity. And with that opportunity, it’s been some things that have happened. Kent Johnson’s had a lot of ice time. (Kirill) Marchenko’s had a lot of ice time. They’ve made the best of it. Some of the young defensemen have played more than probably would’ve played at this level. It’s made us think about their futures. So there’s been a…
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