Mr Boumediennes new workplace, Nationwide Arena in Ohio. Source of Picture: Earthlink 


Many clubs in Europe and North America he’s been involved as player.  Not sure if I counted right but Josef Boumedienne has been playing hockey for 22(?) different organizations.

That’s a lot one other may think.

It sure includes a lot of experiences about the game when he’s entering his new job as Euro-scout for Columbus Blue Jackets. And I am myself very sure that he’s able to do his duty as scout more than well and bring fine hockey players from Europe to Columbus.

Although it is not easy to follow one or several players for 1-2 years before decide if draft the player or not. I haven’t done that myself really in the meaning that I studied players for a long term, but a bit at least and in another sport: basketball. Not in the position as scout but as coach. It’s quite fun when I did that. That’s why I am pretty sure that he’s not only doing well, he also will have a lot of fun as well.

Not sure if it is destiny or what it is, but during his career playing for all these clubs, he won only 2 championships for the Finnish SM-liiga team Oulun Kärpät. 2004 and 2007. He had the chance to win a third time with the team when he returned 2013.

But it was not the same Boumedienne that we used to know from the old times. He wasn’t really in shape as he used to be and team itself felt through the table like a rock down towards the bottom of an ocean. Oulun Kärpät didn’t fall all the way down, but they were eliminated by Rauman Lukko during the 1/8 finals best of 3 games, lost 2-1 and both loss was on home ground. Of course it wasn’t his fault, it was the whole teams responsibility and a lot of other players performance were whole lot more lousy than his.

Pity though that it has to end like that for such a good hockey player that I do will remember that he was.

On the other hand as I told earlier; a lot of good experiences and contacts that will come to good use for himself and for his new duty as scout also for the Columbus Blue Jackets organization.

Good luck Josef and bring on some good players to NHL!

I think you have come to the right place. The name of the arena tells that for sure if nothing else, you have yourself travelled and played nationwide.

/Arto Palovaara, from Arena Kalevala and Betsafe

Connecting the worldwide hockey family closer to each other by telling stories from the Finnish SM-liiga and national teams.




*picture taken by Todd Sharrock (@toddsharrock ) of the Columbus Blue Jackets Communications team.



Today the Columbus Blue Jackets signed free agent Nathan Horton to a seven year contract. In honor of his signing I took some liberties with Dr. Suess’ “Horton Hears A Who”.


Horton Hears A Boom


On the 5th of July, in Boston’s great garden
In the heat of the day, on the water that is hardened.
He was skating, enjoying the garden’s great joys
when Horton the Bruin heard a small noise
So Horton stopped skating. He looked towards the sound.
“That’s funny,” thought Horton. “There’s no one around.”
Then he heard it again! Just a very faint BOOM
As if some tiny cannon was telling him they made room
“I’ll help you,” said Horton. “But who are you?Where?”
He looked and he looked. He could see nothing there
But a small hockey puck flying past through the air.
“I say!” murmured Horton. “I’ve never heard tell
Of a small hockey puck that is able to yell.
So you know what i think? Why, i think that there must be
Someone on top of that small puck of hockey
Some sort of team of a very small size,
too small to be seen by an NHL-er’s eyes
“… some poor little team who’s shaking with fear
That he’ll blow onto the ice! They have no way to steer!
I’ll just have to save them. Because, after all,
A team’s a team no matter how small.”
So, gently, and using the greatest of care,
the Bruin stretched his great Paw through the air,
And he lifted the hockey puck and carried it over
and placed it down, safe, on a very soft clover.


Welcome to Columbus Nathan Horton! We look forward to the next seven years!




On Sunday, the Columbus Blue Jackets hosted their annual Draft Party at Nationwide Arena. A day full of games, meeting players/promo teams, locker room tours, watching the draft on the jumbotron, and getting up close and personal with the Vezina.


While waiting for the draft to begin many fans headed on over to the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation table. The foundation raffled off many great prizes and you could even buy a team signed hat.


Inbetween draft picks fans went on a self led tour of the locker room. If you ever get a chance to go on a locker room tour you should take it. It’s cool to see where the players work out but the sayings on the wall take the cake.





After the locker room tour you could take a side tour to see the jerseys of the teams in the Eastern Conference.


While parents were watching the draft take place on the jumbotron their kids were being watched by the one and only Boone Jenner.



Even the Nationwide Arena twitter account got in on the action making sure people like me behaved themselves.












*disclaimer* The “Dancing Kevin” is sold with out a top bun because he dances with his shirt off. I have a gluten allergy so the only logical way to ask for the sandwich is “without pants”. ;-)


Let’s be honest for a moment. The real reason why everyone showed up to Nationwide for the draft party was to meet the beautiful Vezina.




So what were the fans favorite things about the CBJ Draft Party?


Cory Towner ( @trumarvel ) :

Somehow through out the years of being a die hard fan Cory had neglected to tour the locker room. Needless to say the locker room tour was his favorite part of the draft party.

Dennis Kelley II ( @Dennis_KelleyII ) :

His first draft party experience “didn’t disappoint”. Meeting Dancing Kevin and seeing the Vezina were Dennis’ highlights of the day.


Julie Little ( @jlittle451 ) :

Julie’s favorite part was getting to see the handsome JD on the big screen.


Michael Boyle ( @mboyle78 ) :

The locker room tour was hands down Michael’s favorite part of the day.


The Ghost at Nationwide:







Pirate Jack ( @piratejack ) :

Although Pirate Jack enjoyed getting his picture taken with the Vezina he was quite pleased with the Blue Jackets 2nd pick of the evening.


Well there you have it kids. It looks like the draft party was a great success.


If you’d like to see more pictures from the draft party you can find them here.


There was much rejoicing in Ohio on Saturday evening. Finally an Ohio sports team was recognized for something good.  In a landslide victory, Sergei Bobrovsky became the first Columbus Blue Jacket and first Russian to win the Vezina Trophy. With four shutouts, an average of two goals allowed per game, and a .932 save percentage Bobrovsky deservedly won this award.

Here’s what Sergei Bobrovsky’s teammates had to say about his win:

I have a feeling this season is going to be a blast to watch. Congratulations Bob! You’ve made Columbus proud! Thank you for all you did for our team this year.


Things happened quicker than I ever thought it would happen,

A short review from the latest…

…. The World championship 2013 in hockey ended less than a week ago. The most of you hockey fans know that Sweden became the first team who won the tournament as WC organizers since 1986. Soviet Union achieved gold in Moscow then. But now is that “curse” broken until next and coming years, which told that a home team couldn’t win the WC when they arrange the tournament.

Swiss ended up with silver medal this year and USA achieved the bronze after defeating my team Finland in the shoot out game.  Some of you remember that Alex Galchenyuk was the shoot out hero for the US team. With other words: Finland, Suomi, the roaring lions…unfortunately hit the fourth place thanks to dear Alex.

That was Jukka Jalonen’s last game as head coach for the “lion’s”. He’ll hand over the task to Erkka Westerlund, who has been head chief before, but now is back for a year and will be lead the team over the Sochi Olympics. I’ll talk more about that later on. Although, I find it worth mention that Jalonen brought Finland to WC gold 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia. That was the second gold for Finland in history. First time they ever won a WC tournament was the year1995 in Stockholm.

Well, for this tournament 2013 I have to say that Finland’s Road towards the semifinals in the tournament was quite bumpy. I think that no one will disagree.

The best game during the tournament they did was against Russia when they won 3-2. It was the Finland I use to know, a hard working and tactical skilled team. Other games gave me only questions…what was I really looking at?

However, that’s past now. There’s a future and we know that things use to move on, change, develop etc. by time. And things have changed for sure on the transfer market.

To let you my dear readers get this straight:

Rumors before told about the goalie Antti Raanta, from the team Ässät from Pori in the Finnish league: SM-liiga and Petri Kontiola (Traktor Chelyabinsk, KHL) who won WC’s goal scoring league this year were on their way to the best league in the world, NHL. After the tournament I was asked by people if I heard anything about trades, that players from the Finnish team moving on to the NHL and whom I though they’d draft.

To be honest I was quite unsure if “they” would pick any one at all after seeing Finland’s and the player’s performance over all during the tournament.

But it did happen!

Ilari Melart, from Helsinki IFK, signed for Columbus Blue Jackets! That’s a surprise if anything. But it’s a very nice such. I have seen Ilari play for Helsinki IFK (short: HIFK) during the latest season and he has been one of the most important players for sure. And he did a good WC tournament as well, in the meaning that he did what he is capable to do.

He has muscles enough and he annoys the opponents 80% of the games. So, my spontaneous first thought, that Columbus and Jarmo Kekäläinen brought him over seas, to have someone who can make it very difficult for the other teams superstars.

I can’t – no matter how much I wish – see that he’s in the team for scoring even if he might hit the net once in awhile during the season. My guess at the moment where Columbus might put him would be a 3rd-4th line.

If Ilari’s technical skills will improve?

Yes, actually I’d like to think that it would improve a lot. Because the game in NHL is some times way much faster (smaller rink) than it can be over here in Europe, by that he has the chance to practice his reaction ability and let the puck go when it suppose to leave the stick. That’s why I think at the moment he has every opportunity he possible can have to make the NHL visit longer than just a year.

I wish Ilari Melart good luck to this new step in his career. Live the dream!

Also I wish Jarmo Kekäläinen all the best as GM for Columbus Blue Jackets. I am sure that he will have a successful time. He’s the right man on right place. No doubt about that. I know that he did more than a good job for Jokerit, also from Helsinki.

Note that Raanta or Kontiola might end up in NHL anyway later on.

Me who write this,

I am Arto Palovaara, writing about Finnish hockey for the world wide known betting company Betsafe (in Swedish). I am going to present for you dear reader’s a Finnish point of view about our beloved game: hockey, the best game in the world.

That means that I cover the National league of Finland: SM-liiga also the gentlemen national team and U20. There might be space for U18, U16 and the ladies national team as well.  SM-liiga is the same league where former NHL-stars like Jari Kurri, Esa Tikkanen, Jyrki Lumme and Teppo Numminen come from. Nowadays the stars are Mikko Koivu, Jesse Joensuu and Mikael Granlund for example and a bunch of goaltenders that comes from there. Yes, Finland has a goaltender factory more or less.

Other stories from Finland and about Finnish ice hockey will be brought from the second league called “Mestis” or from other forums connected to Finnish Ice hockey.

I am actually for the most located in Stockholm, Sweden where I live and work at the moment, but I have also residence in Finland, both in the northern Finland and South Finland where I use to go from time to time.

This is just a short presentation about me and who I am. More information I will give you later on when I present the Finnish teams in SM-liiga. But I thought it would be a good idea to write all this above when it was known that Ilari Melart from Finland is going to play for Columbus Blue Jackets next season.

Now we will let the big guys in NHL have their Stanley cup show first. Enjoy the games.

/Arto Palovaara, about SM-liiga and Finland

from Arena Kalevala at Betsafe.

Twitter: @ArtoPalovaara


The Finnish SM-liiga logo 


The logo of the Finnish national team 












Yesterday Brandon Dubinsky did a quick twitter “Q and A” session.  In case you missed it here’s the recap.





Thanks Brandon! Columbus fans always enjoy a good Twitter “Q and A” session. I’m hoping to see more in the future.



Earlier this week it was reported that the NHL was finalizing the addition of 5 more outdoor games to the 2013-2014 NHL schedule. Honestly, this is the last thing that should be on their mind. Below are four things I find to be more important than adding 5 outdoor games.


1. What is going on with the Coyotes?

      Honestly, does anyone know what is going on with the Coyotes Organization right now? Are they staying? Are they going? Is there a buyer? At the end of the season if there is no viable income coming from the organization I say shut it down. Don’t even think twice about it, just shut it down. I know that sounds callous but this has been a hot button for a few years now. At what point do you stop talking and start doing?


2. Where are the two new teams going?

The NHL took the time to release the finalized realignment yet no one knows where the new teams will be located. I’ve heard rumblings of Seattle and Ontario.  Although putting a team in Ontario will likely mess with the realignment and force a newly moved team back to the East. Toronto would also benefit from having a second NHL team. Unfortunately, the NHL would have to deal with the same issue as putting a team in Ontario. Quebec would be out for the same exact reason too. So where should the NHL put two, maybe three, teams?

a) Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage has a lot of attractions to draw people into the idea of going to see a hockey game there. I know I would travel from Ohio to Alaska to take in a game, go to the zoo, and see a few glaciers before they all melt. Plus, Brandon Dubinsky is from Alaska. Need I say more?

b) North Dakota/ South Dakota

You can’t honestly tell me that people in those two states do not like hockey. The question is are there enough people in either state who would come out to a NHL game.

c) New Orleans, Louisiana

This one is probably the biggest reach of them all. I have no clue where they would build a stadium or if people in the area would go to a game. For some reason the thought of putting a team in NOLA intrigues me. In the off season, which is most of hockey season, travel is inexpensive. Plus, believe it or not, there are a lot of hockey fans in Mississippi and Arkansas. Could the NHL corner the market on the southern fans by putting a team in NOLA? Is it worth the risk?

d) Regina, Saskatchewan

I don’t know much about Canada but I do know that I enjoy saying the word Saskatchewan. I’d also like to see the country that invented the game have a few more teams. Plus, it would be nice for the Jets to have a Canadian team nearby.


One of the biggest challenges of expanding the NHL is creating a buzz for these new teams. I would have no problem with adding two, or three, extra outdoor games next year. This would be a one year only thing and it would be in the town of the new team. Their opponents for those games should be the 2012-2013 Stanley Cup winner and whatever two teams would draw in the biggest crowd. If you’re in the business of making money and not making your fans angry this would have been the route to take.


3. Where’s my All-Star Game?

The city of Columbus has been asking this question for quite some time. When Columbus lost the All-Star game with the lock out an estimated 72 million dollars  in earnings went with it. A lot of time and effort went into preparing for the All-Star game. Shirts were made, banners hung, and new hotels were built. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the havoc you wrecked upon the wonderful Columbus Blue Jackets ticket reps. Can you even imagine what it would be like to have to take those angry/frustrated calls from fans? Bless their hearts. So NHL if you could give the All-Star game back to Columbus that  would be great.


4. The Olympics

Apparently the Olympics are still a hot topic right now. Should the NHL let them play? Should the NHL not let them play? For me the answer is “Yes, we should let them play in the Olympics”.

Every four years hockey becomes relevant in the United States. For two weeks “mainstream” sports fans are glued to their televisions watching games. They are constantly checking their phones for updates. Names like Kane, Kesler, Howard, and Johnson become household names through out America. People begin to realize that the term “icing” does not just apply to cupcakes. Yes, during those two weeks our favorite players names get slaughtered. Yes, we field a lot of elementary hockey questions. Who cares people are finally invested in hockey.

The NHL constantly talks about wanting to create more revenue and draw in new fans. Letting the players participate in the Olympics can do just those things. Pretty much every television around the world is tuned into the Olympics. If any of the NHL players do well  people in other countries are going to order “Game Center Live” and different television packages so they can continue to watch their favorite player. They are going to order jerseys and fan gear. Who knows they may even come to America and Canada to see their favorite Olympian play in a NHL game. So why even entertain the thought of not allowing players to participate in one of the most prestigious events to ever exist? What does the NHL gain from not letting them play? I’ll tell you what they gain : angry fans and angry players. Especially since these guys are already entering into Olympic training mode.




*dislaimer* This is the first wrap up I’ve done since I was writing for my own CBJ Blog “Everyone Loves BJs”. here, here, and here. Forgive me while I try and get back into the swing of things.


Last night the Columbus Blue Jackets entered the Madhouse on Madison in hopes of  putting a stop to their regulation win streak. Unfortunately the injury plagued Blue Jackets could not end the streak. They managed to force the Black Hawks into overtime only to lose at the hands of Lucky Number 7.

Here’s how it all played out.


1st Period

The game starts with Dalton Prout desperately trying to get to the arena on time from MidwayAirport. Clearly the game starts with out him. That’s ok because 31 seconds into the period Prospal scores his 250th career goal !  At 17:51 Stalburg gets a turnover and is denied a goal. At 15:51 the Madhouse goes crazy at the though of a  Kaner goal. Fortunately for the Jackets the puck hit the post and the goal was waved off.  Dalton Prout arrives 5 minutes into the game.  Stalburg goes to the sin bin for hi-sticking Cameron “the biebs” Atkinson. At 12:29 Hjalmarsson thought he had a great break away but his attempt was foiled when Letestu snuck up on him. Thank you Letestu for blocking Hjammer’s shot.  Foligno and Brookbank get into an uneventful fisticuffs at 11:50.  At 7:40 Johansen delivers a beauty of a pass from behind the net to Atkinson. Unfortunately no amount of attacking the net was going to throw Emery off of his game. Attempt denied and twenty seconds later Dalton arrives to the bench. Shortly after Prout’s arrival the Blue Jackets head to the penalty kill for too many men on the ice. Johansen takes a seat in the sin bin. With four and a half minutes left in the first the Black Hawks continually attack the net. Mason puts on a show stopping shots left and right. Until 3:51 when the “Jackets Killer” himself, Viktor Stalburg, ties it up with his sixth goal of the season. With 1 minute left Kaner tries to score on a breakaway and is denied by Mason. Kruger also tries to score and is also denied.  Period ends. Shots on goal even. Score even.

2nd Period

With one minute into the period Nikitin shocks the world by getting into his first fight. Nikitin fought Carcillo after Tyutin was leveled. Many Chicago fans were calling him stupid. I on the other hand recognized that Nikitin was just trying to protect one of the last healthy defensemen we have on the team. Adding insult to injury they also gave Nikitin added instigating to the penalty. At this point in the game I begin to lose focus. My mind is still being wrapped around the fact that Nikitin got into a fight. About 7 minutes into the period Anisimov scores. The puck is deflected off of Carcillo’s leg. The last three minutes of the second period is where the break down of the Blue Jackets happens. With 2:23 left Patrick Sharp ties up the game with a soft shot on Mason.Not even a minute later Nikitin can’t keep up with Bickell and he scores his third goal of the season.   Period ends with Chicago leading the score board and shots on goal.


3rd Period

The start of the third period begins with the Jackets attacking the net for almost two minutes. Unfortunately nothing came of this effort. With 17:16 left in the game the hockey gods were with us.  Mayers misses the net that was left wide open. The puck just rolled off Mayers stick. With 7:33 left the Blue Jackets got their redemption in the form of a Ryan Johansen goal. Looks as though Joey is getting his groove back. With the five minute mark the game gets intense. The boys on both sides begin to apply the pressure and Mason brings his A game. Mason makes a beautiful save under his stick against Stalburg.  Umby plays it off the glass to Johansen but unfortunately nothing happens. Kaner tries to breakaway but the Jackets apply the pressure. A little more than a minute left Hjammer continually applies the pressure on Prospal. The Black Hawks were not going to let Prospal get his 251st goal off of them. Todd “Toddles” Richards calls a time out with 4.3 seconds remaining. If they win the faceoff they could win the game. A faceoff win is imperative. They win the faceoff, take one final shot, and miss. How disheartening that would have been if they were down a goal and not tied.

Over Time:

Overtime = Elaine doesn’t breathe and may puke time. At least I was given comedic relief when Saad grabbed the puck and threw it into the Jackets net. You would think at this point the Jackets would capitalize on this debauchery but they did not. Instead Aucoin left Seabrook unattended and lucky number 7 scores to end the game.


random observations:

  • I wish Natalie Taylor could hear me yell “HI NATALIE” every time She appears on my tv
  • John Moore trips over the goalie and hurts himself during morning skate. That’s so ohio sports.
  • Dalton Prout late to the game because his flight came in late. That’s so ohio sports.



Three Stars

1. Ryan Johansen: What was that Elaine? Ryan Johansen as your number one Columbus Blue Jackets star? I’m just as suprised and shocked as all of you. It’s a well know fact that I am not a fan of the Johan. Last night the kid, yet again, showed promise. Johansen had some great passes and that goal was beautiful.

2. Mason: Yes, I know Mason let in a soft goal from Sharp. Yes, I know the Jackets lost. Yes, I know Mason “allowed” 4 goals. I strongly believe if we had a decent defense and they weren’t injured the Jackets would have won that game. There is only so much a goalie can do with out help. Mason made some great saves last night. This kid has slowly developed into one heck of a player. I have nothing but Mase love.

3. The Chicago Cab Driver : Thank you for getting Dalton Prout to the Madhouse before the first period ended. I think the Blue Jackets would have self destructed if they had to play with 5 defensemen.



Dear LA Kings,

Your presence on social media started out as witty banter between other NHL teams. Eventually you moved on and started trolling other teams’ fans. In the past few months your tweets have become semi offensive. They were funny yet bordering on rude and uncalled for. I let a lot of the mockery go because you were in an epic bromance with the Blue Jackets twitter. Today, though, you have reached an all-time low. I’m disgusted by your classless antics on Instagram. What kind of organization allows their social media to be a source of bullying, harassment, and hatred. How dare you make fun of an event that raises money for the fight against pediatric cancer. Do you think this event was a joke? Do you honestly find little kids fighting for their lives to be funny? The Columbus Blue Jackets are doing a good thing. They might not have the best record or even a playoff win but they have class. They have big hearts. They try to do the right thing and that’s why we love them.

I don’t want just an apology from your organization. I want you to match every dollar raised at the CBJ Black Tie Affair. Maybe then I’ll consider forgiving you.


No longer finds you charming or funny

Elaine Grace




Around three weeks ago friends/fans from other NHL teams brought up two things to me based on what they have seen on twitter. One theory I tested and one I paid attention to. One their perception was totally wrong and the other their perception seems to be right. So today’s edition of perception vs reality covers “Favoritism” and “Fighting”.



As we all know perception and reality very rarely match up. So when a few non cbj fans asked me how I came to be a “favorite” of the Jackets Organization I was a bit perplexed. I’m not a designated “community leader” but since I’ve become a fan of the CBJ back in 2011 they have supported my writing and have recognized me multiple times. Partially because I’m constantly putting that bug in their ear that I’m right there in front of them. With that being said I took three weeks off of writing and rarely tweeted about the Blue Jackets. During those three weeks the Blue Jackets twitter never mentioned me and didn’t follow Friday me. Why? Because I didn’t talk about the Jackets and when I did it got lost in the abyss of tweets.

If you’re serious about being recognized you have to put yourself out there. The CBJ media relations team does not have all day to sit around and sift through every single tweet. They are doing their best and people need to calm down a little. This is new territory for sports teams. No other team in any other  league communicates with their fans the way CBJ social media does. We have to be patient with them. Imagine 3-5 people trying to respond to fans, write articles about the team, and make sure the media is up and running. It’s time consuming and with a shortened season their main focus is getting information about the players/organization out there. Eventually they have time to focus on fan interaction.  Some of your tweets probably get lost when we blow up everyone’s timeline during a game or CBJ related event . We are loud, proud, and some find us annoying. So in an attempt to not let your voice get lost in the crowd every Friday I will post a Follow Friday spot light on Crash The Net. Fans have to help each other out. I know there are awesome Blue Jackets fans who are getting lost in the crowd and I want to find you.

With that being said I want to remind you of a few things. If you’re going to be consistently negative, don’t consistently tweet about the team, have a potty mouth, and are rude to other fans the Blue Jackets cannot tweet you out. They are an organization with an image to uphold. You could say it’s “just twitter” but to the Blue Jackets it’s also business.



*Disclaimer: I am not attacking anybody. I know I’m not 100% innocent either.*

I’ve had multiple people ask me why the Blue Jackets fan base fights so much. I didn’t believe them so I took a step back and observed.

We are all fans. We should work together. When we walk through that door it doesn’t matter who we are, what clothes we wear, how we walk, or how we talk. What matters is we are all jackets fans. This should also carry into twitter. I’m not saying we have to be friends. I’m saying we have to start respecting each other a bit more. I get that each of us have different views on the team and how it should be run. We aren’t always going to agree with each other. Most of us on twitter are adults and we need to start acting like it. If you do not agree with someone you could do one of two things: Ignore it or try to create a nice healthy dialogue. What you should not do is jump down their throat, attack them, or subtweet about them. Over the past three weeks I’ve seen this time and time again. If you don’t like what someone has to say then unfollow them. If they keep harassing you then block them. We should be saving our anger and hatred for the other teams. So for the sake of the Blue Jackets lets be cordial with each other.


I hope we can all learn to sacrifice hate for the love of the Columbus Blue Jackets.




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