Originally Posted by izzy's dad
Yesterday the Blue Jackets traded center Antoine Vermette to the Pheonix Coyotes for a 2nd and 5th pick in this draft and a minor league goalie. Not a blockbuster by any stretch, but could be the start of the rebuilding process.
I don't think Columbus was a hockey town to start, but it is moving that way. While it will never compete with Ohio State Football, it is clearly the #2 sport, even ahead of OSU mens basketball. The arena may be a big part of that draw, but the Jackets do have a growing fan base. I had worried that the NHL would move the team up north due to the teams lack of success. Attendance is better than a lot of teams, teams that are competitive. But the recent performance of the team has caused attendance to shink a bit. If the Jackets play their cards right with this rebuilding phase, they could build a really good young team. If they don't play their cards right... they could lose the fans. I have lived in both Cincy and Columbus, and in my opinion Columbus is the much better "hockey town."
I don't know what the NHL's policy towards moving teams is, really. Gary Bettman and his overall "genius" nature is all over the map on this issue. They will fight tooth and nail to keep a franchise in Phoenix with no little fan base. Yet Blues fans, who are one of the more loyal fan bases in the NHL, are pulling hair out of their head at the constant struggle for any ownership stability. Gary Bettman might be more incompetent than Bud Selig.