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Jackets review 2024

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK Cautionary hope that they might show signs of improvement. Gaudreau in his second year was bound to be better, the defense with Provorov, Werenski and Severson would help a defense that was overrun the year before and lots of talented kids among the forwards would help drive the forwards.  Nobody felt they were expected to drive towards a playoff spots but the hope was they would show signs of improvement. 


FINAL RECORD 27-43-12 66 points, dead last in Division, 15 points behind the next worst team in the Metro Division


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR As Boone Jenner went so went the Jackets.  The CBJ went 11-5-2 in games in which Jenner scored a goal, in the games in which he appeared in that he did not score, the Jackets were a pathetic 8-26-6. 


  WHAT WENT RIGHT The Russian forwards, Voronkov, Chinakov and Marchenko all showed signs of promise. Werenski had a damn fine season. Gaudreau led the team in scoring woith 60 points. Jenner (when healthy) had a fine season. Fanilli was a mixed bag but did not embarrass himself as a teenager playing against men. Alexander Nylander came back from the dead and scored a bit when he was dealt by Pittsburgh. David Jiricek showed he is ready to play as a middle four defenseman. Provorov was a minute munching top pair defender. Texier came back from homesickness and played good solid hockey.


WHAT WENT WRONG. Kent Johnson is lookin like a first round bust. Patrik Laine could not stay healthy and signed up for rehab treatment. The goaltenders were a season long mess. The young kids, while none embarrassed themselves were really average. Severson was a mixed bag. 

  Nobody was really awful expecting Laine, maybe Johnson, but the truth is the team did not  play well in any area.


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR jACK Rosplovic scored an overtime winner against the Wild in a thrilling 5-4 victory, pushing their record to 3-2. Fantilli scored his first career goal, it was a fun, lively game.


LOW POINT OF THE YEAR From an embarrassing loss to the pathetic Ducks on October 24th through being well beaten by the Flyers 5-2 on November 19th, they went 1-9-4 driving them into the basement from which they never returned. It was more or less all downhill from there. 

  Of course the worst of the worst was the signing of Babcock for his final NHL tour.


FREE AGENTS No real or significant free agents will be departing. Howere the Jackets are packed with RFA all of whom will demand a decent paycheck. Marchenko, Chinakov, Texier, Sillinger Jake Bean are all RFA. Bean may be released, Texier almost certainly will be dealt.


TOP PROSPECTS Jiricek almost certainly will be at least in the top four on the blueline and has a ton of potential. Kent Johnson is running out of chances  and if he wants a career it better happen soon. Denton Mateychuk is a solid blue line prospect and he will be pushing for a bottom pair spot this year with potential to move up. Gavin Brindley is a very solid B level prospect ready to step into a top nine role with higher upside among the forwards.


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Are the kids anything special or are they an entire team of 3rd line NHLers? Merzlikens has four years at 5.4 million per season, can they escape from the horrible contract and add a real goalie? Will they ever move beyond  an insignificant playoff team to  becoming a reall team that deserves to be taken seriously? Can Laine stay healthy and play like they wnated? Will Gaudreau make the Jackets signing look horrible or will he fix his career?


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