It is with great sadness that I must say au revoir to my dearly departed Columbus Blue Jackets. ESPN the Magazine has rated the Jackets dead last as the team least likely to EVER win a championship in their fans' lifetimes...not just in the NHL, but across ALL four major sports leagues.
I've been a fan since the team appeared on the scene over ten years ago, but I have moved away from Columbus over the last few years, and there's really nothing anymore to tie me to Jackets. In addition, team ownership/management has decided not to field a competitive team for some reason. The last straw was when they traded Rick Nash (the ONLY good player we've ever had in Columbus) to New York for some used hockey sticks and a bag of pucks.
Since I'd like to at least have a prayer of my team actually winning Lord Stanley's Cup at some point in my lifetime, I need to choose a real team to root for. Being as I now live in northern Florida, the natural choice would be the closest team -- the Tampa Bay Lightning. They have an exciting core of players including Stamkos, St. Louis, Lindback, and Conacher.
However, I thought I'd throw it out to you, my CM brethren, to see if I'm missing a better long-term choice. Now, the team doesn't have to be on the precipice of a championship this season. I'd settle for just having a realistic chance of winning the Cup in my lifetime.
OK, have at it guys and gals! What team should I pick now that I've freed myself of the Columbus anchor? Where is ownership actually commited to winning? Where is the best young core of players? Convice me!
One of the original six teams is always a safe bet - faithful fans, a few star players at least ever few years, nice uniforms, and long histories that include a tradition of winning (or at least trying to win). They're sort of classic and never go out of style, kind of like Coca-Cola, Levi's jeans or black pants.
(couldn't do this earlier because I was on my iPad)
The Chicago Blackhawks should be your choice. A core of young veterans (Kane, Toews) along with several rookies (Saad, Shaw, Krueger, Hjalmarrson) that show a lot of promise and are learning from the best veterans around (Seabrook, Keith, Hossa, Sharp). A super fan base all over the USA and a new management team dedicated to keeping that fan base happy. Couple that with being an original 6 team, and on the verge of setting the record for most consecutive games without a regulation loss, you need not look any further!