Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets Lyle Odelein Jersey

It was on this date in 1997 that the NHL officially approved expansion to a 30-team league by the year 2000. In an unusual plan, the Nashville Predators began play in 1998-99 and the Atlanta Thrashers started life the following season in 1999-2000. Then, the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets completed the extended round of expansion by joining the league for the 2000-01 season, nearly three and a half years after first being granted their franchises. The Blue Jackets would be the first NHL team to play in Ohio since the Cleveland Barons departed in 1978.

From over 14,000 entries in a name the team contest, the name "Blue Jackets" was chosen, which was a nickname for the Union soldiers in the Civil War, to honor the contributions made by the state of Ohio, including the fact that Ohio contributed more of it's population to the Union Army than any other state and that many of the Union uniforms were also manufactured in Columbus.

 photo columbus_blue_jackets_2000.gif

The Blue Jackets started out life in the NHL with a rough go, finishing last in the Central Division in each of it's first three seasons and averaging only 69 points in it's first seven, missing the playoffs each time out.

Things finally improved for the Blue Jackets when they made the playoffs for the first time after a 92 point season in 2008-09, the last of the four new teams to qualify for the postseason.

They were led for nine seasons by the franchise's all-time leading scorer Rick Nash, who arrived in time for the 2002-03 season after being drafted #1 overall in the 2002 Entry Draft.

Nash draft photo Nashdraft.jpg
Nash was the first overall pick in 2002

Nash tied for the league lead in goals with 41 during the 2003-04 season, earning a share of the Rocket Richard Trophy in just his second season in the league. Despite having now moved on, Nash's 547 points in Columbus  still leads second place David Vyborny by 230.

Nash Richard photo NashRichardTrophy.jpg
Nash with the Richard Trophy

Goaltender Steve Mason added to the brighter outlook for the Blue Jackets, earning the Calder Memorial Trophy for his stellar debut season in 2008-09.

Mason Calder photo MasonCalder.jpg
Steve Mason poses with the Calder Trophy

Unfortunately, Columbus was unable to capitalize on that appearance and again failed to reach the postseason for the next four seasons and Nash was eventually traded following the 2011-12 season. In another trade of note, the Blue Jackets dealt their second and fourth round picks at the 2012 draft for goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who would win the 2013 Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender.

Bobrovsky Vezina photo BobrovskyVezina.jpg
Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky proudly displays his Vezina Trophy

The 2013-14 season was one of change for the franchise, and for the better. First, the club was moved to the Eastern Conference and the newly created Metropolitan Division, along with their regional rivals the Detroit Red Wings, a move wholly endorsed by team management which would result in less travel and numerous earlier start times to their games. Additionally, the team is also much closer to new division rival and top draw, the Pittsburgh Penguins, than they were to many of their previous Central Division rivals.

The club responded well and finished fourth in the Metropolitan Division and immediately drew the Penguins as their first playoff opponent in five years, but bowed out in six games.

Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets Lyle Odelein jersey. It features the Blue Jackets Inaugural Season patch, as well as one of our custom made Hockey Fights Cancer patches. This style jersey would be used by the team for their first six seasons, but the "Stinger" mascot shoulder patches would only last three seasons until a  pair of new secondary logos would replace the brightly colored cartoon insect, a Civil War uniform cap on the right shoulder and the state of Ohio flag flying around a star on the left, the same crest used on the front of their first alternate jersey, intoduced in 2003-04.

Odelein was selected by the Blue Jackets in the 2000 expansion draft and later named the first captain of the franchise.

The Hockey Fights Cancer patch was first worn by the captain of each team for one game only in January of 2001. The patches from 2001 do not carry the date, as they did in the subsequent three years of the program. Each specially patched game worn jersey would then be auctioned off for charity as part of the festivities at that year's NHL All-Star Game to raise money for cancer research.

Columbus Blue Jackets 2000-01 jersey photo ColumbusBlueJackets2000-01F.jpg
Columbus Blue Jackets 2000-01 jersey photo ColumbusBlueJackets2000-01B.jpg
Columbus Blue Jackets 2000-01 jersey photo ColumbusBlueJackets2000-01P2.jpg   Columbus Blue Jackets 2000-01 jersey photo ColumbusBlueJackets2000-01P1.jpg

Dasherboard: When the Nashville Predators joined the league in 98-99, a major realignment of the divisions took place, expanding from two six and two seven team divisions, to six divisions, some with as few as four teams. The Predators came out fine in this plan, being grouped in with established nearby clubs in Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis.

Atlanta was added to the Southeast Division, centrally located between Washington and Carolina to the north and the two Florida clubs, Tampa Bay and Florida, who played in the Miami area, to the south.

Columbus fit in naturally with Nashville in the Central Division when they joined the league, but due to the increased number of teams in the east, Minnesota was slotted in with the teams in the Northwest Division - Colorado, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver - none of whom are even in their time zone and most of which aren't even in the same country!

The other victim of the realignment was the Dallas Stars, who were inexplicably placed in the Pacific Division - 885 miles from their nearest division neighbor and over 1900 miles from said Pacific Ocean after which their division was named...

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome and encourage genuine comments and corrections from our readers. Please no spam. It will not be approved and never seen.


hit counter for blogger