Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 1/16/13
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Brandon Dubinsky was traded from one of the best teams in the NHL to the worst. Yet when he looks around at his new Columbus Blue Jackets teammates, he doesn't have a whole lot of regrets about leaving the bright lights of New York along with the Stanley Cup aspirations of his old team, the Rangers, to join a team just hoping to be respectable. Well, maybe he does have one regret. "The 24-hour delis. There are three on every block," he said, laughing. "That's something you miss." Dubinsky is one of several reasons why maybe they should call them the New Jackets. After almost a decade of being known as "Nash's team," the Blue Jackets, who open their 12th season on Saturday night in Nashville, will be built around several new faces. Dubinsky, fellow forward Artem Anisimov and defenseman Tim Erixon -- who all came over in the Nash deal along with a first-round draft pick -- will be under a microscope. So will fellow newcomers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and winger Nick Foligno. They'll undoubtedly play important roles in the young team's reconstruction. "Sometimes change is good. I think Rick felt the same way, he needed change," said coach Todd Richards, who had the interim tag taken off his job title after taking over for the fired Scott Arniel midway through a disastrous 2011-12 season. "Sometimes as an organization, whether you want it or you're forced into it, you get change. I think that's the exciting thing about going into this year is exactly that word: Change." Dubinsky, Anisimov and Foligno figure to join the top two lines. They'll be asked to make up for the 32 goals Nash averaged in his star-studded nine seasons in Columbus. "It's not necessarily just about replacing, say, the 30 goals or 40 goals that Rick Nash scores every year," veteran center Derek MacKenzie said. "It's about creating some offense but doing it the right way." The Nash deal came down in late July. Dubinsky, Anisimov and Erixon came to Columbus and worked out with their new teammates for a while. Then the NHL lockout sent those players in different directions -- Dubinsky played back in his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, in the ECHL, while Anisimov headed for his Russian homeland to play in the Kontinental Hockey League and Erixon saw action with Columbus' top affiliate, the AHL's Springfield (Mass.) Falcons. They filtered back to Columbus last week after the owners and players reached a tentative agreement, and then joined the Blue Jackets for full workouts on Sunday. "It certainly doesn't feel like I haven't played a game with these guys, which is a funny feeling," said Dubinsky, who had 10 goals and 24 assists last year for the Rangers. "It feels like I'm jumping back into an old rhythm and the same group of guys that I'm used to and accustomed to." Anisimov, who had 16 goals a year ago in New York, hasn't had a problem with the transition to the Midwest. "Not at all," he said. "It doesn't matter where you live, it matters how you play hockey, how you compete every day." Erixon, who is just 20, is hoping to latch on with the Blue Jackets after spending most of last season in the AHL. The Blue Jackets traded for the rights to Foligno, who had a career-best 47 points last season with the Ottawa Senators, then signed him to a three-year, 9.25-million contract. He had been intrigued by Ohio's capital city when he came to town for games in the past. He is excited about what has transpired since he came aboard shortly before the Nash trade. "They've done a great job. They brought (former St. Louis Blues executive) John Davidson in as club president. That's a great step," he said. "Then you look at the guys they brought in with Nash's trade. Those are great character guys. That's the direction we're going -- great character is going to lead to success on and off the ice. The fans are going to appreciate that." Bobrovsky may be the most important new link in the chain. Steve Mason was the NHL's rookie of the year when the Blue Jackets made their only run to the playoffs in 2008-09, but has been mediocre at best the past three seasons. Bobrovsky, who was picked up from Philadelphia for draft picks, gives Richards another option in net. That's particularly valuable in a compressed season of 48 games when there are very few off nights. "This is a good organization," he said through a translator. "We have everything here you want." Everything, that is, except for a recognized star like No. 61, the franchise's career leader in most offensive categories. In the first year without him, the Blue Jackets hope to compensate with a better blue line, stingier goaltending, more depth and a distribution of the scoring. "In the past, maybe sometimes we kind of rode Nasher's back a little bit," MacKenzie said. "He was certainly a guy who could make things look easy some times. You add guys like Nick and Dubinsky to your lineup, guys who are going to grind it out, guys who are going to go to the hard places day in and day out, that consistency and the way they play is hopefully going to be contagious in the dressing room."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jason Peters: Eagles practiced too much under Chip Kelly

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker