Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are an American professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio, that competes in the National Hockey League (NHL). They are members of the league's Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets were founded as an expansion team in 2000 and qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in 2009.
The Blue Jackets' name and logos were inspired by Ohio's Civil War history, The name "Blue Jackets" was chosen to celebrate "patriotism, pride, and the rich Civil War history in the state of Ohio and city of Columbus."When President Abraham Lincoln requested that Ohio raise ten regiments at the outbreak of the Civil War, the state responded by raising a total of 23 volunteer infantry regiments for three months of service. Ohio also produced a number of great Civil War figures, including William Tecumseh Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, Philip Sheridan and George Custer.
The Blue Jackets play their home games at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, which opened in 2000. Since entering the league in 2000 as an expansion team, the Columbus Blue Jackets have played 15 seasons without winning a playoff series. Although the team has not been able to perform as well as they’d like, there have been a number of individuals who have had excellent careers in Columbus, including a couple of current players who instil hope for this team for the present and years to come.
Let’s take a look at some of the top Columbus Blue Jackets of all time starting with Rotislav Klesla. Drafted 4th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Rostislav Klesla was the first ever draft selection in Columbus Blue Jackets history. Although, his offensive output has never been anything monumental, Klesla was a solid two-way contributor. Klesla scored 133 points form the back end and played in 515 games for the Blue Jackets, third most in franchise history. Rostislav Klesla was a Blue Jacket through and through for parts of 10 seasons.
David Vyborny was one of the more prolific scorers in the short history of the Blue Jackets. He currently sits third in goals scored (113), second in assists (204), second in points (317) and second in games played (543). Vyborny played all seven of his NHL seasons with the Blue Jackets, leading the team in points twice in 2005-2006, 2006-2007. Vyborny was a solid contributor throughout his career posting three 20 goal seasons and always being a dangerous threat in the shootout.
Ryan Johansen is the first bona fide number one centre the franchise has had. He is the top offensive threat, the catalyst to the Blue Jackets offence and could well be thought of in a year or two as the greatest Blue Jacket of them all.
Rickie Nash is Columbus Blue Jackets all time leader in goals (289), assists (258), points (547), games played (674). Co-Winner of the 2003-2004 Maurice Richard Trophy for leading the NHL in goals scored with 41. An NHL All-Star as a Blue Jacket on five different seasons.
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