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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones Says Team Won’t ‘catch as many teams off guard’

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The Columbus Blue Jackets know that the successes of last season has only brightened the spotlight on the team heading into the 2017-2018 NHL season.

And with the bigger spotlight, comes with more expectations and more teams putting a target on their back.

Defensiveman Seth Jones knows that the pressure is on this season.

“I think we need to earn more respect in this league and one year and a playoff appearance doesn’t do that,” Jones said, according to Sydney McNulty of BlueJackets.com.

“I think we caught a lot of teams off guard, and I don’t think we are going to catch as many teams off guard this season, so we have to be even better and on top of our game for sure.”

Jones knows the team has to step up to the challenge and points to the addition of Artemi Panarin, who came over from the Chicago Blackhawks, as one reason to believe that the offense will be better this year.

“I think it is going to add a little bit more creativity offensively,” Jones said.

“We lost a great player in Brandon (Saad), but, at the same time, we are getting a very awesome player, a very exciting player to watch in Panarin. I think we are really happy with some of the moves we’ve made, and hopefully that makes the team better.”

The Blue Jackets know that success brings more pressure and they seem to welcome the challenge as we head into a new NHL season.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski Hoping to be Ready by Season Opener

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Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is hoping to avoid missing the start of the 2018-19 regular season as he continues to recover from undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this year, according BlueJackets’com’s Brian Hedger.

“My goal, ultimately, is to be there for Game 1,” Werenski said. “You never want to miss time, you never want to miss games, so my goal going into training camp and into the season is to be ready for Game 1.

“If it’s later, like Game 5 or Game 10, whenever that is, I’m going to work to miss as few games as possible and be ready to help the team.”

Werenski, 21, has begun skating but hasn’t progressed to contact drills as he continues his journey back.

“I feel great out there,” Werenski said. “There’s no problems right now. I’m just kind of ramping it up here, trying to get my timing back. Everything feels good on the ice. I haven’t had any contact yet. That’s not until later. I probably won’t do that until probably halfway through training camp, but everything is good. Everything’s on pace. I actually don’t know what my timeline is, to be honest, but I’m hoping to be back toward the start of training camp – probably not Day 1, but as soon as I can be.”

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Penguins To Sign Jack Johnson to 5-year Deal

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are signing unrestricted free agent defenseman Jack Johnson to a five-year contract that will be in the $16M, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey.

Johnson’s new deal can’t be made official until July 1st, the day that free agency officially starts.

The move completes a goal for Penguins general manager Jin Rutherford who said that the club made adding a defenseman this offseason a priority.

 

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Chicago Blackhawks

Blue Jackets Land Jean-Francois Berube In Deal With Blackhawks

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are celebrating the completion of a major trade that was executed on Wednesday.

The Chicago Blackhawks have sent goalie Jean-Francois Berube to Columbus in exchange for forward Jordan Schroeder, the clubs announced on Wednesday.

Berube split this past season between the Blackhawks and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs en route to a .894 save percentage in 13 NHL games.

Schroeder spent most of the campaign with the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL but made 21 appearances in the NHL during the 2017-2018 season.

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