Monday, April 16, 2007

(Tyler's) Jacket Times Pick for Blue Jackets MVP

It's time for me to make a selection for this year's MVP. Selecting one player who is "most valuable" to the Blue Jackets is tough. After all, what does 'most valuable' even mean? Some would argue for the guy who scored the most points, others may vote for the hardest working player. But alas, I have made a few decisions for who I think deserves the top (and bottom) honors. Without further ado:

Least Valuable Player- Brian Berard is a solid choice for this (dis)honor. He spent the first half of the season injured and the second half on the bench or scratched. All that cost the Jackets $2.5 million, which makes it Doug's fault too. It's worth noting however, that in the 11 games he did play, Berard put up 3 assists. That puts him ahead of another LVP candidate, Jody "Two points" Shelley.

Most Improved Player-
Dan Fritsche was outstanding. Despite having his season tragically cut (sorry) short, he put up more than double his point total from the previous season. This Parma native is turning into a clutch player for the Jackets. I'm happy to keep him in town and on the 'energy' line.

Most Valuable Player- A few other fans and the CBJ website itself posted a poll naming Fredrik Norrena as the MVP. I don't completely agree with that. Sure, Norrena played hard and managed an above .500 record, but he was often streaky, and was generally not a dominant force in why the Jackets were able to win a few. That said, I'm going to go with what some may say is a controversial pick and give the MVP to David Vyborny.

I've always thought that Vyborny is one of the most underrated, under appreciated players on the team. He's always in the corners coming up with a crafty play to either stimulate a scoring chance or stall on the penalty kill. And if you want numbers to support this award, look no further. Vyborny led the team in points (64), assists (48), and was second in plus/minus (+6). He was the only frequent starter to appear in the top 20 in the plus/minus category as well... a testament to the Jackets' struggles.

Vyborny is so often overlooked. He's quiet, doesn't fight, seldom talks to interviewers, and doesn't score a ton of goals. He simply goes out on the ice, does his thing, then waits on the bench for his next shift. #9 will continue to be a key player for this team as long as the front office can keep him around. There's been talk about Vyborny returning to the Czech Republic to raise his family, but I hope he sticks around Columbus as long as possible.

If you have an alternate selection for these honors, say so in the comments. I also invite my co-writers to post their selections.

CBJ 06-07 Stats on

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