Last night was fun for me, watching my former home-town team, the Chicago Blackhawks, host my new home-town team, the Blue Jackets. I always enjoyed hearing Pat Foley, the play-by-play announcer, a guy who would sprinkle in some unconnected, personal stories or anecdotes, into every broadcast. Last night, he shared with us his preference for Hart Schaffner Marx suits.
For those of you out there who did get to watch the game on Center Ice, you probably would agree that Foley and Eddie Olczyk were very kind to the Blue Jackets, praising them honestly and often. If you saw the intermission reports, you were treated to Steve Konroyd, the former CBJ color commentator. So you might have found yourself wondering a little just who was broadcasting the game, Chicago or Columbus?
The Blackhawks are showing Blue Jacket fans just what the future holds. They had a string of bad seasons (not as bad as Pittsburgh) that gave them the chance to draft some very good players, Jonathan Towes and Patrick Kane. The have solid goaltending to go along with guys like Patrick Sharp, Dustin Byfuglien, Martin Havlat, and Duncan Keith. This season, Chicago was forecast to be where the Jackets are now, fighting for sixth or seventh place in the conference standings. But everything came together quickly and the team is in fourth place and playing very good hockey. And they are selling out every game.
I think the Blue Jackets are going to be in a similar place next season, solidly in the upper division, and selling out Nationwide. It is a good time to be a Blue Jacket fan. The Arena District is a cool place to hang out, truly a destination place. Maybe they can fit another recreation rink in the area to stage even more amatuer hockey events. People from Cleveland, Toledo, and Dayton are in town this weekend for the State High School Hockey Tournament and they surely will be impressed.
So enjoy this now, because it will never be the same again. Thank you, John McConnell.