Jackets looking for fresh start under Richards

Jackets looking for fresh start under Richards

Published Jan. 16, 2012 8:42 a.m. ET

By now, the Blue Jackets' season is a lost cause. They are 12-27-5, dead last in the NHL and cruising toward the worst record in franchise history.
Interim coach Todd Richards, asked to describe the situation he inherited when Scott Arniel was fired on Jan. 9, said he wants the Blue Jackets to reset their minds, brighten their attitudes and play with more energy.
"It's like any job," said Richards, whose team next hosts Edmonton on Tuesday. "If you're not coming to work in a good mood, excited about the job you're going to do ... it's probably not going to go too well.
"This is a fresh start for everybody. Clean slate. Let's work hard, see what we can do and see where we can take it. We can't fix what's already been done."
The Blue Jackets are 1-2 under Richards after a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. He's been told by Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson that he'll be the interim coach through the end of the season, and a candidate when the club looks for a permanent coach this summer.


Gillies acquired off waivers

--The Blue Jackets claimed winger Colton Gillies off waivers from the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Interim coach Todd Richards, who coached Gillies for seven games during the 2009-10 season, said he expects Gillies to add size and speed to the Blue Jackets lineup. Gillies did not play Saturday against San Jose, but is expected to join the club on Monday and make his debut versus Edmonton on Tuesday.
--The Blue Jackets may have a long day with the NHL on Monday. Left winger Dan Byers was given a match penalty with intent to injure for his shoulder-to-the-head hit on San Jose's Andrew Desjardins early in the second period, a hit that knocked Desjardins out for the rest of the game. A match penalty requires that the player be suspended until the NHL rules on the hit, but the Blue Jackets don't play until Tuesday.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's really tough to set long-term goals because we really don't know what's going on right now." -- Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, speaking of the uncertainty surrounding the franchise these days.


--RW Colton Gillies was claimed off waivers from Minnesota on Saturday and is expected to make his Blue Jackets debut on Tuesday versus Edmonton. The Jackets plan to use Gillies in a third- or fourth-line role.
--LW Dane Byers will likely face a suspension following his shoulder-to-the-head hit on San Jose's Andrew Desjardins in the second period of Saturday's game in Nationwide Arena. Byers, then playing for the New York Rangers, was suspended one game by the NHL during the 2009-10 season for his role in a fight in a game against Vancouver.
--LW Rick Nash scored the Blue Jackets' only goal early in the third, giving him four in four games and 16 on the season.
--D James Wisniewski (broken ankle) is out until February.
--C Jeff Carter (separated shoulder) is out indefinitely.
--RW Mark Letestu (broken hand) is out until late February.
--LW Kristian Huselius (lower body) is out until February.
--D Radek Martinek (concussion) is out indefinitely.
--LW R.J. Umberger (concussion) is out indefinitely.