You can't always say this, but today was a good day to be Blue Jackets fan.
Team General Manager Scott Howson officially introduced his two prized offseason acquisitions to the media today at Nationwide Arena. I left even more excited about the upcoming season.
The Jackets have seemingly filled a decade-long void in finally having a true No. 1 center in Jeff Carter, whom Howson snagged from the Philadelphia Flyers in the biggest trade in franchise history.
"All the top teams are strong down the middle," Howson said, noting that only two top center have been traded in years in the NHL (Brad Richards and Joe Thornton).
Carter, who has the same sort of quiet confidence with the media as his presumed linemate Rick Nash, addressed his surprise trade from Philly. "It was definitely shocking. I signed a long-term deal to play there potentially the rest of my career."
But if there was any reluctance about his new surroundings, it didn't show. "We just want to come in and be a piece of the puzzle," Carter said.
The other cornerstone offseason move was the signing of highly sought free agent defenseman James Wisniewski, who noted that "The acquisition of Jeff made my decision easier."
The new guys certainly know this is a team in need of a turnaround. "I don't want to lose every day," said Wisniewski, echoing the sentiment of a more than a few Jackets fans. "That makes life miserable."
Of course, a training injury to winger Kristian Huselius has put a slight damper on the offseason love fest, but Howson hopes to be able to address that need "outside of the organzation."
So will we finally get a second dose of post-season hockey in Columbus? "I don't see any reason why we can't make the playoffs," said Carter. With these guys here, I don't either. The season kicks off in October.