Columbus Blue Jackets Seek Outside Perspective for Future

ParallelDesk 02:05:12 PM, 27 April 2023

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have had a difficult season, ending one point out of last place in the NHL. CBJ supporters are pretty acquainted with what has transpired this season for the Blue Jackets. There were cautious departure interviews when CBJ players met with the media due to the team's record-high 563 man-games lost. But general manager Jarmo Kekalainen felt that change was necessary and fired head coach Brad Larsen the day after the season. To address the issues, the Columbus Blue Jackets sought an outside perspective from veteran defender Erik Gudbranson. Before moving to Columbus this past campaign, Gudbranson played on seven teams throughout his 11 NHL seasons, so he has experience with both winning and losing clubs. In an interview with Blue Jackets insider Jeff Svoboda, Gudbranson shared his views on the team's culture after the tough 2022-23 season. Gudbranson said, "I think it's very much in its infancy. This is a young, excited group that needed some experience this year to figure out what the base of that culture is going to be, and we made a lot of mistakes trying to build that this year. We're going to learn from that going forward." Gudbranson was a part of the Calgary Flames that quickly won the Pacific Division and ended second in points in Flames history during the 2021–22 season. He sees a difference between the style of that campaign and the one he encountered in Columbus when comparing the two. He believes the youthful Blue Jackets are still developing, unlike the Flames who had been together for several years. Several members of the Blue Jackets leadership group remarked on the need to create a stronger culture. The only thing the Columbus Blue Jackets can do is look forward to next season.

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