Jake Bean is finally a Columbus Blue Jacket

Flashback to the 2016 NHL Draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets had the third overall pick in the first round. That is the draft the Blue Jackets selected Pierre-Luc Dubois. What may not be well known to some Blue Jacket fans is that the team had a predraft visit with defensemen Jake Bean who would be selected by the Carolina Hurricanes. Yet, it was in the days before the draft that the Blue Jackets front office and Jake Bean developed a fondness for each other.

RALEIGH, NC – SEPTEMBER 12: Jake Bean of the Carolina Hurricanes poses for his official head shot of the 2019-2020 season in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 12, 2019 at American Institute of Health Care and Fitness.”n(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

Jake Bean became a full-time starter for the Carolina Hurricanes last season. He was then traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets and signed to a three year contract extension.

Jake Bean is happy to be a Blue Jacket. He also likes the city of Columbus. Jarmo Kekalainen, Blue Jackets general manager, recently said during the draft process the Blue Jackets really liked Bean. One thing has been clear, Jake Bean looks like he is ready to take his game to the next level.

The loaded Carolina Hurricanes defensive corps created a logjam and Bean had a hard time cracking the lineup so he was stuck in the AHL. Bean got his chance last season. Bean is a solid defender with an upside to his offensive game.

Jake Bean can quarterback the power play as well has help on a penalty kill. When he was drafted in 2016, Bean was widely viewed as a very good two-way player.

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 22: Jake Bean #24 of the Carolina Hurricanes attempts a shot against Tyler Johnson #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of their game at PNC Arena on February 22, 2021 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The Blue Jackets who are shaking  up the roster traded for a player with very good upside. The Blue Jackets organization was wise in trading for Bean and extending his contract. His minutes will certainly go up in Columbus and his style of play should make Blue Jackets fans happy.

Going back to the predraft visit, Jake Bean is finally a Columbus Blue Jacket and is happy he is.

What to expect from the Columbus Blue Jackets rebuilt blue line

In recent years the Columbus Blue Jackets have been known around the NHL for having a very good defense. That is because both General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen and the rest of the Blue Jackets front office believed and still do that defense is the key to playing good hockey and contending for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even during a re-(call it what you will) the focus is once again on the blue line.

CALGARY, AB – MARCH 4: Milan Lucic #17 of the Calgary Flames fights for the puck against Andrew Peeke #2 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 4, 2020 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The Columbus Blue Jackets defense is going to be very young heading into training camp and the 2021-22 NHL season. In fact the oldest member of the blue line is Vladislav Gavrikov at just 25 years old. Yet there is some talented young players who will be counted on to continue to develop at the NHL level.

The Columbus Blue Jackets penalty kill (PK) has been very good in recent years. The organization now needs to sift through and find line combo’s to try to get to that same level. It goes without saying Zach Werenski and the aforementioned Gavrikov will be out there during the PK. The team needs to then choose from Andrew Peeke, Dean Kukan, Adam Boqvist, Jake Bean and a few others.

The Blue Jackets defenders must keep it simple and not do too much. That is something they exceled in, in the past. Very often young players try to do too much. The best option for the younger players to to play according to the situation.

While it is still anyone’s guess as to line pairings it seems as of this moment that former Blue Jackets first round draft pick Gabriel Carlsson will finally get a longer look. He had fallen out of favor with the previous coaching staff.

NASHVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 28: Matt Duchene #95 of the Nashville Predators battles for the puck against Gabriel Carlsson #53 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Bridgestone Arena on February 28, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

With a young blue line it is important to understand they will look awful at times. Yet there will be times when they flash what they can be. This is what a re- whatever looks like.

What fans should focus on in my opinion is if both Andrew Peeke and Gabriel Carlsson find footing and fit into the future Columbus Blue Jackets defensive plans.

Disney +’s “Kenobi” show needs to have this Star Wars character

Star Wars fans around the world remember this scene from “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.” Yoda offers a somber bit of information that Obi-Wan Kenobi’s former master Qui-Gon Jinn had mastered death and been able to return from it, presumably as a Force Ghost. With Disney +’s ‘Kenobi” series said to have wrapped production fans can not help but wonder if the character first introduced in “Phantom Menace” will return.

Actor Liam Neeson (L) poses with the lightsaber he used in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” at the “Movie Action for Children” auction 06 March 2001 at Sotheby’s in New York. Movie memorabilia is on the auction block to raise money for a UNICEF program to prevent mother to child HIV transmission in Zambia, Zimbabwe and The Ivory Coast. AFP PHOTO/ Stan HONDA (Photo by STAN HONDA / AFP) (Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Actor Liam Neeson, brought Qui-Gon Jinn to life. Not only did serve as master to Obi-Wan Kenobi but was also instrumental in teaching a young Anakin Skywalker. He knew there was something different about Anakin.

Qui-Gon Jinn was a respected member of the Jedi order. Yet when he was offered a seat with the Jedi council’s Jinn declined. He was never afraid to follow the will of the Force, even when it rubbed others the wrong way.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was instructed by Yoda to take an infant Luke Skywalker to a safe place and watch over him. He took him to the one place Anakin (who was Darth Vader by this point) vowed he would never go again, Tatoonie.

For Star Wars fans, it would be a fantastic moment if Qui-Gon Jinn was to show up during the “Kenobi” series. After all, Yoda said it was to be. We know by the time “Star Wars: A New Hope” fits into the overall story Obi-Wan has learned the skill of becoming one with the Force.

British actors Anthony Daniels, Alec Guinness and American Mark Hamill on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope written, directed and produced by Georges Lucas. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

That means it would complete Obi-Wans training while further enriching Qui-Gon Jinn’s character as one of the more instrumental in the Star Wars universe. As other Jedi’s such as Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, as well as other Jedi’s including Yoda himself would be able to return from death as a Force Ghost.

While it is unknown if Qui-Gon Jinn will appear, it almost feels as if he will. To leave him out will leave a rather large void in the story.

The Bad Batch offers a glimpse of how Emperor Palpatine’s clones were made

As Dave Filoni tries to fill in the rather sizable gaps left by “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” he is using The Bad Batch to fill in one major back story. When the trailers hit for The Rise of Skywalker fans were both excited to find that Emperor Palpatine was returning to Star Wars after believed to be dead. The excitement gave way to questions, questions gave way to misunderstanding, misunderstanding gave way to backlash of the film.

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 10: A Clone trooper stands on the Red Carpet at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” on August 10, 2008 at the Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Disney +’s Star Wars: The Bad Batch started off feeling like another season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, until roughly three episodes left that is when The Bad Batch escaped the Clone Wars shadow and became it’s own show.

While The Bad Batch Season 1 just concluded it left many unanswered questions. In my opinion that is perfectly fine, after all it was recently announced that The Bad Batch would return for Season 2.

The Kamino cloning facility which first came to the Star Wars universe in “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” was once again a focal point of Season 1. That is until Grand Moff Tarkin had it annihilated. In part because the Jedi knew where the facility was located.

The finale episode of The Bad Batch revealed just how Emperor Palaptine started experimenting with cloning including on himself, which is evident in The Rise of Skywalker. Make no bones about it Palpatine always had a contingency plan. Remember, Palpatine wanted Anakin to help him find a way to cheat death.

In The Rise of Skywalker we learn of the Sith planet of Exegol. It is there where Palpatine and his legion of Sith Eternals began working on Cloning. The reason was for the Final Order.

When Darth Vader threw the Emperor down the reactor shaft in Return of the Jedi, Palpatine knew he was going to die. Having trained under Darth Plagueis, Palpatine understood he could simply transfer his consciousness to a clone of himself on Exegol. One problem. Clones by virtue of being second hand are not as strong as the templets. Certainly far too weak to host a Sith Lord.

ORLANDO, FL – AUGUST 24: Director Dave Filoni attends the Star Wars Clone Wars Season 5 Red Carpet Premiere at Star Wars Celebration V at Orange County Convention Center on August 24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Back to The Bad Batch where we see Nala Se, who happens to be the pioneer in all things cloning. With just one little tiny scene, Dave Filoni effectively answered a big mystery left by The Rise of Skywalker.

 

The Book of Boba Fett has wrapped production, The Mandalorian Season 3 to start filming soon

With Star Wars making a comeback in the eyes of many fans through Disney +’s The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch, fans have been waiting to see what is next from the galaxy far far away. It is now known that The Book of Boba Fett has finished production and is set to start airing Christmas Day 2021. We now know The Mandalorian Season 3 will begin production soon.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 13: A general view of atmosphere at the premiere of Lucasfilm’s first-ever, live-action series, “The Mandalorian,” at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. on November 13, 2019. “The Mandalorian” streams exclusively on Disney+. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Gincarlo Esposito, who plays Moff Gideon on The Mandalorian and has grown into a fan favorite as he hunts down Mando and The Child, recently let it known that Season 3 is set to begin filming soon.

While many die-hard Star Wars fans are indeed chomping at the bit to see The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian has a huge following and fans are equally as excited for Season 3. As Star Wars is in the midst of all aspects being linked together.

What draws fans to the hit streaming show is the feel of Star Wars that was lacking from the Sequel Trilogy. The Mandalorian came in and in one swoop washed away most of the nervous ticks left from Episodes 7-9.

Throw in the hit streaming show The Bad Batch and Star Wars is riding high again. With the newest Star Wars installs, and the fact that all things Star Wars are being put under one arc fans are happy.

An already ecstatic fan base is not only happy with where the Star Wars franchise is currently but there is also the anticipation of where it is going as new shows and films are in the works.

COLOGNE, GERMANY – MAY 20: The costume worn by Jeremy Bulloch as Boba Fett is seen during the ‘Star Wars Identities’ Exhibtion Press Preview & VIP Opening at Odysseum on May 20, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)

With The Bad Batch Season 1 coming to an end, fans are now going to focus on The Book of Boba Fett which gets them closer to Season 3 of The Mandalorian.

The Force is strong with Star Wars again!

Star Wars lines and the Bible cross references

While there is no two ways about it Star Wars is chocked full of Eastern Religion. You say no way! I say look no further than Anakin Skywalker who is the definition of the Yin Yang Chinese philosophy. The philosophy is that of the concept of dualism. Yet, there is some biblical truth to some of the most famous Star Wars lines and quotes. Let’s dive in.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 28: A man reads scripture from the Bible as members of the public wait in line to view the casket of Christian evangelist and Southern Baptist minister Billy Graham as he lies in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda February 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. A spiritual counselor for every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama and other world leaders for more than 60 years, Graham died on 21st February at the age of 99. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In 1999’s Star Wars; The Phantom Menace, Yoda tells us that “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” That is so true on many levels. Nothing gets us riled up more than fear. Fear comes in all forms. Go to God and ask Him to take all fear from you.

The Bible tells us “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12 . This also is so true. Sometimes our emotions can get out of whack. We need to take thoughts captive and choose to love at all times.

Also, from the Phantom Menace comes one of my favorite Star Wars lines ever. Qui-Gon Jinn tells a young Anakin Skywalker “Your focus determines your reality.” Also very true.

The Bible presents it this way, “Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Proverbs 4:23. If we are focused on God and the things of God then we can better take our thoughts captive to the obedience Christ.

In 1977 Star Wars, (before it was subtitled “A New Hope”) the film that launched a franchise, Darth Vader gives perhaps the most powerful quote from Star Wars when he says “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” WOW!  I often wonder if God says this to me or about me?

LONDON – MAY 04: The original costumes for Star Wars character Darth Vader stand on display at ‘Star Wars: The Exhibition’ at County hall on May 04, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

The Bible gives very clear direction on faith and the lack of it. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6.

In Rogue One: a Star Wars Story, Chirrut Îmwe (who is blind) says “I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.” Let’s say for a moment the Force represents God.

The Bible gives us comfort “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8. Grab a hold of this God promise.

There are more famous lines from Star Wars. I could go on and on. But I pray you get the point. I also hope that when watching movies with friends and family, those who are Christ followers would begin to have open conversations as you look for Christian themes in the movie you are watching.

Will the revamping Columbus Blue Jackets be Jarmo Kekalainen’s last stand

The Columbus Blue Jackets just concluded the most successful run in team history. As the organization and fans said goodbye to many familiar faces who helped push the Blue Jackets to four Stanley Cup Playoff appearances the team has embarked on a fresh start. A start that began with a very good 2021 NHL Draft and has fans excited about the future. Yet the revamping will last at least two years and a lot can happen.

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager, Jarmo Kekalainen built a nice hockey team and one that tasted some playoff success. As good as those Blue Jackets teams were there was something missing. The defense was good, the goalies and wingers as well. But the team lacked top talent at center.

SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY – JULY 23: With the 12th pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets select Cole Sillinger during the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft at the NHL Network studios on July 23, 2021 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Enter Kent Johnson and Cole Sillinger both centers, both taken by the Blue Jackets with the first two of the teams three first round draft picks. Johnson and Sillinger give the Blue Jackets some very good talent at a position that needs it most.

Kekalainen is revamping the Blue Jackets from the back out. His blue line (defense) looks as good as it ever has only younger. Players like Patrik Laine are young and talented.

As with any revamping it comes with huge question marks. For instance Can the organization repeat another strong draft next year? It absolutely must if the revamping is not  to suffer a setback.

Defensemen Zach Werenski received a massive contract last week. Will there be any more such contracts handed out like to say Laine? That remains to be seen.

COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 11: Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen addresses members of the media during Media Day at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH on September 11, 2019. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

As much success that Kekalainen helped the Blue Jackets achieve, a revamping comes with stress. The long time GM needs to be shrewd and fearless. So far so good. Yet if there are any miss steps it would be disastrous to the timeline of getting back into contending for playoff spots.

This could be a case of the Columbus Blue Jackets allowing Jarmo Kekalainen to prove he can put a winner on the ice if not………………….

Traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets Adam Boqvist, is a nice addition

Last week when the Columbus Blue Jackets traded Seth Jones to the Chicago Blackhawks, the organization got a very nice haul. First round draft picks, a second round draft pick and the Blue Jackets also received the Blackhawks top rated prospect, defensemen Adam Boqvist. Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen remade his defensive unit during the NHL Draft weekend and the unit is as strong as it has ever been. So what does Adam Boqvist bring to the Blue Jackets? A lot, let’s examine.

The Chicago Blackhawks who are in the midst of their own rebuild were not really in position to just give away top prospects. Yet, the Blackhawks felt that Seth Jones would help to speed up their current rebuild. Adam Boqvist was not just a throw in, in the trade. Boqvist is simply too good to be a toss in.

SUNRISE, FL – MARCH 15: Adam Boqvist #27 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates during a break in action against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 15, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Adam Boqvist is a right-shot defensemen, he is an exceptional play maker. Boqvist, possesses a big and accurate shot and is able to find space in between opponents to get the puck to the net. Boqvist plays very well in traffic.

In the defensive end of the ice, Boqvist has cleaned up his game and is an above average defender coupled with mobility, puck skills, and offensive attack that makes him extremely valuable. Adam Boqvist projects as a 1st pairing defenseman.

So in essence the Blue Jackets traded a 1st pairing defensemen for a 1st pairing defensemen and also received draft picks. Boqvist is 6 years younger than Seth Jones.

CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 08: Adam Boqvist #27 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Sammy Blais #9 of the St. Louis Blues battle for the puck in the second period at the United Center on March 8, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

It is easy to see a future Columbus Blue Jackets top-defensive pairing of Zach Werenski and Adam Boqvist. Both are solid defenders and both can find the back of the net in the offensive end.

With the moves made during the draft weekend, Jarmo Kekalainen has sped up the Blue Jackets rebuild. He did so by solidifying (rightfully so) the blue line. Kekalainen has always said he prefers to build from the back (goalie and defense) out. Which is the correct way to build a hockey team.

There will be only one, but these two players who make the most sense to be captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets

After trading away long time captain Nick Foligno, the Columbus Blue Jackets are in the market for a new voice to fill the void left. Fresh off of contract extensions both Boone Jenner (longest tenured Blue Jacket) who has the respect of the front office, coach’s and teammates makes sense to wear the captain’s “C.” So does defensive standout Zach Werenski who was captain of the Michigan Wolverines hockey team and also has the respect from all involved.

COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 6: Boone Jenner #38 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nationwide Arena on April 6, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

In my opinion, Jenner and Werenski are two players who are worthy of being the Columbus Blue Jackets next captain. They possess an over-the-top work ethic and command the attention and respect of the entire Blue Jackets organization because of the way they go about their work.

Whichever one does not wear the captain’s “C,” is nearly a slam dunk to wear an “A” (Alternate captain.) There is no secret recipe to picking a captain. Blue Jackets GM, Jarmo Kekalainen said they will know when they have the right person and in all likely hood they have already identified that person.

Fans want to know right now who if anyone will be the next Blue Jackets captain. Kekalainen said the team can wait until training camp right up to the start of the season. There is a chance the team may not name a captain for the 2021-22 NHL season but that seems remote given the choices the organization has.

COLUMBUS, OH – FEBRUARY 10: Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 10, 2020 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Both Jenner and Werenski would make excellent captain’s. Yet, knowing the two players it is safe to say whichever or whoever is named captain they will root for and continue to respect each other and both will continue to lead by example and speak up and out as needed.

Both Jenner, (Who has been a Blue Jackets alternate captain) and Werenski qualify for the void left by Foligno. In my opinion the two players are going to head into camp as the two top targets for the captain’s “C.”

 

The Columbus Blue Jackets sign Zach Werenski to a massive deal and perhaps begin to change the narrative

The perception around the NHL has been the Columbus Blue Jackets are unable to keep star players. There has been truth to that. Until last night when the Blue Jackets announced they have signed defensive standout Zach Werenski to a 6 year $57.5 million dollar contract extension. Just like that general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has silenced the chatter.

COLUMBUS, OH – MARCH 22: Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets gains control of the puck in the third period as Jesper Fast #71 of the Carolina Hurricanes gives chase at Nationwide Arena on March 22, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. Carolina shut out Columbus 3-0. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Not long ago, I wrote that the Columbus Blue Jackets should offer defensive standout Zach Werenski the deal they were rumored to be offering then Blue Jackets defensive standout Seth Jones. Thursday night out of the blue that is exactly what the franchise did.

There are no two ways about it, this is a major win for Jarmo Kekalainen and the Blue Jackets. To not only draft a player, develop him into an All-Star caliber and a  player who is gifted in the offensive end and has really taken big steps  defensively and lock him up in his prime is huge.

Zach Werenski who since being in the NHL is tied for third in goals (65) for a defensemen and ranks 19th in points (139) for a defensemen. For Werenski who is one of the NHL’s best defensive players his pay raise will now reflect both market value for a player of his stature and his value to the Blue Jackets organization.

This is exactly what the Columbus Blue Jackets have needed to do. To hand out a massive contract to a player approaching the prime of their career and end players leaving for seemingly greener pastures elsewhere is excellent news.

COLUMBUS, OH – MAY 2: Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 2, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

This shows players around the league and the Blue Jackets fan base that enough is enough. The organization is now ready to lock up players which is more inviting to free agents and to the current roster members.

This seems to be a new era of Blue Jackets hockey one with a focus on keeping talent.