Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Columbus Blue Jackets
|Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Home ice||Nationwide Arena|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Head coach||Gerard Gallant|
|General manager||Doug McLean|
|Owner||John H. McConnell|
- Founded: 2000 (awarded June 25, 1997)
- Arena: Nationwide Arena
- Uniform colors: Blue and red
- Logo design: A starry ribbon forming the letters "CB" surrounding a hockey stick surmounted by a star.
- Stanley Cups won: none
One of the NHL's newest teams, the Blue Jackets took to the ice for the first time on October 7, 2000, with a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Bruce Gardiner scored the first goal in franchise history.
The team's nickname was selected from suggestions by fans. There are at least four possible factors that may have contributed to the selection of the name.
- At the time the name was first announced, some media reports speculated that because team owner John H. McConnell 's favorite color is blue, he had directed that any name selected for the team must contain the word blue.
- The logo for the team that was initially unveiled featured "an insect with an attitude," suggesting that the name is a play on the term Yellow Jackets (a form of bee and the nickname of various other teams, including the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets). The insect logo was reduced to secondary status before the team began play and was eliminated entirely during the 2003/2004 season. The only remnants of the insect theme is the team mascot, an insect named Stinger.
- The name may have been intended to honour the Shawnee leader Blue Jacket, who lived in the region, but the team has not used any Native American symbolism in its marketing.
- The term Blue Jacket is also a reference to the uniform of the Union army in the American Civil War. The team has included some Civil War references in its marketing, but has not heavily promoted it.
Tragedy struck the Blue Jackets organization when, in March 2002, 13-year-old Brittany Cecil was killed after an errant shot by Espen Knutsen struck her in the head while watching a Columbus-Calgary game in the stands. As a result of this death, nylon mesh nets have now been installed in all NHL arenas above the area behind the goals to shield spectators from flying pucks.
The team has never made the playoffs in its short history, but players like Geoff Sanderson, who scored 34 goals in 2002-03, and first-overall draft pick Rick Nash could change that in the near future. Nash scored 41 goals in 2003-04 to earn a share of the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy.
Players of Note
Not to be forgotten:
- 99 Wayne Gretzky (retired league-wide by the NHL)
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