The Columbus Blue Jackets were dealt yet another injury related blow to their young season when Artem Anisimov was diagnosed with a torn tricep.  The injury will keep him out of the lineup for 2-3 months.

Anisimov joins other Blue Jackets players who have missed extended periods of time like Nathan Horton, Brandon Dubinsky, Boone Jenner, Mark Letestu, and Fedor Tyutin. 

The result of these injuries has been devastating in the standings.  Columbus is currently the worst team in the NHL.  They have 14 points and that is four worse than the Buffalo Sabres, yes those Buffalo Sabres.

Sometimes a season doesn’t go your way and in this case it isn’t really the Blue Jackets fault at all.  However, I am going to look at this situation with the glass half-full.  I think there is a great opportunity at hand for the Blue Jackets and one that could make them title contenders as early as next year.

The Blue Jackets should take a look at the 1996-97 San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs were a really good team (59-23 and 62-20 previous two years) but when star center David Robinson only played in six games, their season tailspinned out of control and they finished as the third worst team in the league with a record of 20-62. 

The Spurs won the lottery and were awarded the #1 overall pick.  That pick turned out to be the Hall of Famer Tim Duncan.  Two years later the Spurs were champions and a dynasty started.

While basketball and hockey are very different sports there can be some parallels drawn between the Spurs and Blue Jackets situations.  Both teams had/have very good rosters and injuries were the root cause of a very poor season.  Both teams picked a very good year to be very bad.  Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel could have the same impact on the Blue Jackets as Tim Duncan did on the Spurs.  Jarmo Kekalainen has constructed a very solid roster.  They aren’t missing many pieces, McDavid or Eichel would be the cherry on top.

What may look like a lost season on the surface may just be a blessing in disguise.  It could be what propels Columbus into one of the premier teams in the league if they stay on their current path this season.

Thanks for reading!

 

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