BLUE JACKETS FRANCHISE HISTORY
As we look ahead to the NHL All Star game in 2015, its fun to look back at the Blue Jacket’s franchise history starting with our city’s bid for a team in 1996.
Nov. 1, 1996 – Columbus Hockey Limited, a partnership formed by five investors interested in attracting a National Hockey League expansion team to Columbus, Ohio, submits an application and a $100,000 fee to the NHL office.
Jan. 13, 1997 – Columbus Hockey Limited makes a formal presentation to the NHL in New York.
May 31, 1997 – Nationwide Insurance announces plans to privately finance an arena in downtown Columbus.
June 25, 1997 – The NHL awards the city of Columbus an expansion franchise along with Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, Ga., and St. Paul, Minn.
Nov. 11, 1997 – Team officials announce that the name of the franchise will be the Blue Jackets, celebrating patriotism, pride and the rich Civil War history in the state of Ohio and, more specifically, the city of Columbus.
Feb. 11, 1998 – Doug MacLean, who led the Florida Panthers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996 as the team’s head coach, is named general manager of the Blue Jackets. Shortly after he would also accept the role as the organization’s president.
May 26, 1998 – Ground is broken in downtown Columbus on the site of Nationwide Arena, future home of the Blue Jackets.
Sept. 30, 1999 – The Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League is named the minor-league affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Oct. 14, 1999 – The team unveils its home and road jerseys with Mike Emrick, television voice of the New Jersey Devils, presiding over the event.
Mar. 29, 2000 – The team announces the formation of the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, a grant-making public charity that will orchestrate the team’s community development and fund-raising programs.
May 1, 2000 – Team officials meet with NHL executives in New York and it is determined that the Blue Jackets have met all requirements for admission into the league, including the sale of over 12,000 season tickets. As a recognized franchise, the Blue Jackets may now officially actively participate in all NHL-related matters.
May 4, 2000 – The Blue Jackets sign the first player in the history of the organization, Niagara University goaltender Greg Gardner.
May 11, 2000 – The Blue Jackets negotiate the first trade in the history of the organization, sending their fourth and ninth round picks in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft to the New York Islanders for forward Chris Nielsen.
June 23, 2000 – The Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild participate in the 2000 Expansion Draft in Calgary, Alberta.
June 24-25, 2000 – The Blue Jackets select 11 players in their first Entry Draft at the Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. With the first pick in team history, the club tabs Brampton Battalion defenseman Rostislav Klesla with the fourth overall pick.
July 3-4, 2000 – Columbus makes its first significant splash in the free agent market by signing defenseman Lyle Odelein and goaltender Ron Tugnutt on back-to-back days.
July 5, 2000 – The Blue Jackets name former Calgary Flames and Team Canada bench boss Dave King as the first head coach in team history. Shortly thereafter, Newell Brown is named associate coach, Gerard Gallant assistant coach and Rick Wamsley goaltending coach.
Sept. 8, 2000 – The Blue Jackets open their training camp at the CoreComm Ice Haus, the only practice facility in the NHL housed where the team plays its games.
Sept. 8-9, 2000 – The grand opening of Nationwide Arena takes place and features a pair of sold out concerts by country music superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
Sept. 15, 2000 – Columbus plays its first preseason game at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. The Penguins defeat the Blue Jackets 3-2. Martin Spanhel scores the “unofficial” first goal in team history.
Oct. 7, 2000 – Welcome to the NHL Columbus! The Blue Jackets jump out to a 3-0 first period lead, but suffer a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks before a sellout crowd of 18,136 in their inaugural NHL game. Bruce Gardiner scores the first goal in team history at 7:34 of the first period.
Oct. 12, 2000 – Kevyn Adams scores two goals, including the game-winner at 4:13 of the second period, as the Blue Jackets post the first win in franchise history with a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Oct. 27, 2000 – Marc Denis makes 32 saves to lead the Blue Jackets to a 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals. The win is the first in club history at Nationwide Arena.
Dec. 18, 2000 – Ron Tugnutt makes 27 saves to record the first shutout in team history in a 2-0 win over the Canadiens at the Molson Centre in Montreal.
Feb. 10, 2001 – Geoff Sanderson collects the first hat trick in team history as he scores all of the Blue Jackets’ goals in a 3-1 win over Nashville at Nationwide Arena.
June 23-24, 2001 – The Blue Jackets select 11 players, including Montreal Rocket goaltender Pascal Leclaire with the eighth overall pick, at the 2001 Entry Draft at National Car Rental Center in Sunrise, FL.
Sept. 16, 2001 – The Blue Jackets hold a “Red, White & Blue” scrimmage at Nationwide Arena to raise money for victims of the 9/11 tragedies. Members of the Columbus Police and Fire Department hockey teams collect nearly $35,000 at the event.
Oct. 4-8, 2001 – The Blue Jackets are fit to be tied as the club opens its second NHL season with three consecutive ties. Columbus battles St. Louis to a 3-3 tie at Nationwide Arena on Oct. 4 and then comes away with 3-3 and 2-2 stalemates in a home-and-home series against Philadelphia.
Feb. 2, 2002 – Espen Knutsen becomes the first player to represent the Blue Jackets at the All-Star Game. He tallies a goal and an assist to help the World Team to an 8-5 win over the North American squad at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. He is also the first native of Norway to play in the game.
June 22-23, 2002 – The Blue Jackets, who are expected to select third overall at the 2002 Entry Draft at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, trade up to get the first overall pick and use it to select London Knights left wing Rick Nash.
June 27, 2002 – The Blue Jackets’ arrival in Columbus is voted the top moment in Columbus sports history by fans it is announced at “Columbus Celebrates Sports,” a fund-raising event hosted by the Greater Columbus Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to kick off the newly formed Columbus Sports Commission.
Oct. 19, 2002 – Columbus’ home sellout streak of 58 consecutive games is snapped as a crowd of 17,424 is on hand to watch the Blue Jackets beat Florida 4-1 at Nationwide Arena. The streak began on Jan. 27, 2001 vs. Anaheim and ended on Oct. 14, 2002 vs. Phoenix.
Jan. 7, 2003 – The Blue Jackets fire head coach Dave King. President and General Manager Doug MacLean replaces him as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
June 21-22, 2003 – Columbus selects 10 players, including right wing Nikolai Zherdev with the fourth overall pick, at the 2003 Entry Draft at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, TN. Parma-native Dan Fritsche becomes the first Ohio-born player drafted by the Blue Jackets when the club selects him in the second round, 46th overall.
Oct. 13, 2003 – The Blue Jackets’ “Third Jersey” is unveiled during a ceremony outside of Nationwide Arena. Later that night, the Blue Jackets defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in their first game wearing the “Third Jersey.”
Jan. 1, 2004 – Gerard Gallant takes over as interim head coach after Doug MacLean relinquishes the role of head coach. A day later, Gallant wins his debut with a 2-0 victory at Tampa Bay.
Feb. 7, 2004 – Nineteen-year old Rick Nash plays in the NHL All-Star Game for the Western Conference at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Nash is the first teenager to play in the game in 12 years and youngest to play in the game since 1986.
Apr. 3, 2004 – Rick Nash nets his 41st goal of the season in the Blue Jackets’ final game of the season. Nash finishes the season tied with Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk and Calgary’s Jarome Iginla for the NHL lead in goals, netting him a share of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. He becomes the youngest player in NHL history in lead the League in goals. The Jackets defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena.
June 25, 2004 – The Blue Jackets announce that Gerard Gallant will remain as head coach. Former University of North Dakota Head Coach Dean Blais is named associate coach.
June 26 – 27, 2004 – The Blue Jackets select 11 players, including Lewiston’s Alexandre Picard with the eighth overall pick at the 2004 Entry Draft at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC.
Aug. 20 – 29, 2004 – Team USA holds its training camp for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey at Nationwide Arena, including pre-tournament games against Team Canada and Team Russia.
Sept. 15, 2004 – The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association expires. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces that the league will not resume play until a new CBA is reached.
Feb. 16, 2005 – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces that due to the lack of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players the 2004-05 season has been cancelled.
July 13, 2005 – The NHL and NHLPA announce an agreement in principle on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
July 22, 2005 – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players has been reached and NHL hockey will return in October 2005.
July 30, 2005 – The Blue Jackets select eight players, including Vancouver Giants center Gilbert Brule with the sixth overall pick, at the 2005 Entry Draft held at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa.
Oct. 28, 2005 – The Blue Jackets beat Minnesota 2-1 at Nationwide Arena in the first game decided by a shootout in team history. Trevor Letowski beats Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson in the eighth round to give the Jackets the win.
Nov. 15, 2005 – The Blue Jackets acquire six-time All-Star Sergei Fedorov and a fifth round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from Anaheim in exchange for Tyler Wright and Francois Beauchemin.
Feb. 14-25, 2006 – Four Blue Jackets compete at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. David Vybrony leads the Czech Republic to a bronze medal, while Rick Nash (Canada), Adam Foote (Canada) and Radoslav Suchy (Slovakia) also participate.
June 24, 2006 – The Blue Jackets select 10 players, including Drummondville Voltigeurs center Derick Brassard with the sixth overall pick, at the 2006 Entry Draft held at General Motors Place in Vancouver.
Nov. 13, 2006 – The Blue Jackets fire head coach Gerard Gallant. Assistant Coach Gary Agnew is named interim head coach the following day.
Nov. 22, 2006 – Ken Hitchcock is named the fourth head coach in Blue Jackets history.
Dec. 2-9, 2006 – First-year NHL goaltender Fredrik Norrena plays 155:28 without allowing a goal to set a franchise record for the longest shutout streak. The stretch includes back-to-back shutouts at Edmonton (4-0, 21 saves) and Colorado (3-0, 42 saves).
Apr. 19, 2007 – Blue Jackets announce that President/General Manager Doug MacLean has been relieved of his duties with the organization. Michael Priest is named president or the organization.
June 15, 2007 – Scott Howson is named the second general manager in Blue Jackets history.
June 22-23, 2007 – The Blue Jackets select seven players, including Halifax Mooseheads right wing Jakub Voracek with the seventh overall pick, at the 2007 Entry Draft held at Nationwide Arena.
Jan. 27, 2008 – Rick Nash set an All-Star Game record by scoring a goal just :12 into the game en route to collecting the 15th hat trick in All-Star Game history at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The game marked Nash’s third-straight All-Star Game selection and he has combined for 5-2-7 in the past two games.
Mar. 12, 2008 – Rick Nash is named the fifth captain in franchise history.
Apr. 5, 2008 – Ken Hitchcock becomes just the 20th head coach in NHL history to reach the 900-game milestone when the Blue Jackets take on the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.
Apr. 25, 2008 – Blue Jackets majority owner and chairman John H. McConnell passes away at the age of 84. His son, John P. McConnell, assumes the duties of majority owner, chairman and governor for the hockey club.
June 20, 2008 – The Blue Jackets acquire center R.J. Umberger and a fourth round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for first and third round picks in 2008. Umberger becomes the first Ohio State hockey player to join the Blue Jackets organization.
June 20-21, 2008 – The Blue Jackets select nine players, including CSKA forward Nikita Filatov with the sixth overall pick, at the 2008 Entry Draft held at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.
July 9, 2008 – Signed Head Coach Ken Hitchcock to a three-year contract extension through 2011-12 season.
Jan. 10, 2009 – Nikita Filatov scores three goals vs. Minnesota at Nationwide Arena to become the first rookie in Blue Jackets history to record at hat trick.
Jan. 25, 2009 – Rick Nash tallies 1-2-3 for the Western Conference at the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal. It is Nash’s fourth-consecutive appearance in the game.
Feb. 19, 2009 – Ken Hitchcock becomes the 13th coach in NHL history to record 500 wins when the Blue Jackets beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in a shootout at Air Canada Centre.
Mar. 12, 2009 – A regular season record crowd of 19,167 at Nationwide Arena is on hand to see the Blue Jackets defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in a shootout.
Apr. 16, 2009 – The Blue Jackets, who finished the regular season with a franchise-best 41-31-10 record, drop a 4-1 decision at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena in the first Stanley Cup Playoff game in club history.
Apr. 21, 2009 – A Nationwide Arena record crowd of 19,219 is on hand for the first Stanley Cup Playoff game played in the state of Ohio. Detroit earns a 4-1 win in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals Series.
June 26-27, 2009 – The Blue Jackets use their first overall pick to select Defenseman John Moore from the Chicago Steel of the United State Hockey League.
Nov. 11, 2009 – Ken Hitchcock coaches the 1,000th game of his NHL coaching career.
June 22, 2010 – Blue Jackets unveil new 10th season logo to commemorate 10 seasons in Columbus.
June 25-26, 2010– The Blue Jackets use their first overall pick to select Center Ryan Johansen with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
July 1, 2010– The team signs Dan Hinote as an Assistant Coach.
Aug. 3, 2010 – Rob Riley named Head Coach of the Springfield Falcons, the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate.
Sept. 16, 2010 – The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Dispatch Printing Company announce that Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan, WBNS-FM will serve as the National Hockey League club’s new radio home and flagship station on the Blue Jackets Radio Network.
Oct. 5-9, 2010 – Club plays exhibition game in Malmo, Sweden against Malmo on Oct. 5 and then opens its regular season a few days later in Stockholm, Sweden against the San Jose Sharks. The games are the first ever Blue Jackets regular season games played outside of North America.
June 20, 2011 – Todd Richards is named assistant coach of the Blue Jackets.
June 24-25, 2011 – The Blue Jackets select six players in the 2011 Entry Draft held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The club’s top pick is Oshawa General’s center Boone Jenner, who is taken in the second round, 37th overall.
July 1, 2011 – Two days after acquiring his rights from Montreal, the Blue Jackets sign defenseman James Wisniewski to a six-year contract.
Jan. 9, 2012 – The Blue Jackets fire head coach Scott Arniel. Assistant coach Todd Richards is named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
May 4-20, 2012 – Five players participate in the 2012 World Championships in Finland and Sweden. Nikita Nikitin helps lead Russia to the gold medal, while Jack Johnson and Cam Atkinson (United States), Marc Methot (Canada) and prospect Thomas Larkin (Italy) also participate.
May 14, 2012 – The Blue Jackets announce the signing of Todd Richards, who had been serving as the club’s interim head coach, to a two-year contract to remain in that position through the 2013-14 season.
May 21, 2012 – Brad Larsen is named head coach of the Springfield Falcons, Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate.
June 20, 2012 – Craig Hartsburg is named associate coach, while Keith Acton is named assistant coach.
June 22-23, 2012 – The Blue Jackets select six players, including Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray with the second overall pick, at the 2012 Draft held at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
July 23, 2012 – The Blue Jackets acquire Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and a 2013 first round pick in exchange for team captain Rick Nash, Steven Delisle and a 2013 conditional third round pick.
Sept. 16, 2012 – The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association expires. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces that the league will not resume play until a new CBA is reached.
Oct. 24, 2012 – The Blue Jackets introduce longtime NHL executive, Hall of Fame broadcaster and former goaltender John Davidson as the club’s president of hockey operations.
Jan. 6, 2013 – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces that the tentative framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players has been reached.
Jan. 19, 2013 – Columbus opens the 12th season in franchise history with a 3-2 win at Nashville as Nick Foligno and Artem Anisimov each scored goals and Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves in their Blue Jackets’ debuts.
Feb. 13, 2013 – The Blue Jackets introduce Jarmo Kekalainen as the third general manager in franchise history. The Tampere, Finland native becomes first European-born general manager in NHL history.
Mar. 14, 2013 – The National Hockey League announces a realignment plan that has Columbus playing in the Eastern Conference beginning in 2013-14. The Blue Jackets join a division featuring Carolina, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.
Mar. 22, 2013 – Nick Foligno sets a team record for the fastest two goals scored by a single player 0:51 apart (13:05 and 13:56 of the 2nd period) vs. Calgary. Artem Anisimov scores at the 14:20 mark of the 2nd as the three goals scored 1:15 apart set a new club mark for quickest three goals scored by the Blue Jackets.
Mar. 31, 2013 – Mark Letestu scores 4:00 into overtime to give Columbus a 2-1 home win over Anaheim and a 10-2-4 record in March, marking the winningest month in franchise history.
Apr. 3, 2013 – Columbus makes several moves prior to the trade deadling, highlighted by the acquisition of All-Star RW Marian Gaborik, Steven Delisle and Blake Partlett from the NY Rangers in exchange for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore and a sixth round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Apr. 27, 2013 – The Blue Jackets end the 2012-13 campaign with a 3-1 home win over Nashville, giving them a 24-17-7 record and finishing the season with a winning pct. of .573 – the best mark in franchise history.
June 15, 2013 – Sergei Bobrovsky is named the winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s most outstanding goaltender for 2012-13 prior to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center in Chicago. Henrik Lundqvist of the NY Rangers and Antii Niemi of the San Jose Sharks were the other finalists for the award.
November 2, 2013 – Columbus awarded the 2015 NHL All Star Game!
January 2014 – 8 game winning streak! Longest in franchise history!