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Check out this terrific piece by Ryan Kennedy at THN. Not only does he have some great things to say about Nash, his comments about the organization as a whole, its direction, and the young talent are dead on, and something that has historically been lacking from the hockey media world.

Just another sign that the CBJ are finally creeping their way into acknowledgment as a full fledged contender in the NHL. We started to see some evidence of this last season, as they refused to fade from playoff contention. A few calls started going our way. NHL Network had some nice things to say. XM radio had more Jackets commentary. Mason got national attention. At the end of the season, believe it or not, we actually won a few replays in Toronto!!!

All of this is a positive for the organization and the fan base, as Hitch, Howson and the players have worked really hard to provide an identity for the team, put an exciting product on the ice, and acheive some success. For Hitch, who has frequently been accused of sucking the excitement of the game with his defensive approach, it must be a nice sort of vindication when exciting young players like Nash, Brassard, Umberger, Filatov, Huselius, Voracek etc. can shine in his system. Having a Hitch-coached team with a flamboyant Mike Commodore as one of the defensive anchors is another plus that Hitch likely smiles about when nobody is looking.

Good stuff. Can you feel that chill in the air in the morning?? It’s getting closer, folks!

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