Carson Meyer’s NHL debut tops list of Blue Jackets roster changes
This time, Carson Meyer is not with the Blue Jackets as a “game time” contingency.
After walking into the Blue Jackets locker room Monday at Nationwide Arena, a day after being recalled from the Cleveland Monsters, Meyer saw his name in the roster against the Boston Bruins. It was the culmination of a journey that took the 24-year-old Meyer from Powell to the NHL through the Ohio Blue Jackets AAA youth program, the University of Miami, the State of Ohio and the American Hockey League with Cleveland.
“You’ll be happy no matter where your first game is, but it’s that much more special at the rink where I grew up cheering on the Blue Jackets,” Meyer said, after skating with the fourth line. front of the team. in the morning skate. “I’ve come to so many games with my dad here, and now my dad is going to be in the stands with… I don’t even know how many family members are going to try to come. They’re all going to watch me tonight and that’ is difficult to put into words.
Ed Gingher, president of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets, will also be listening.
Gingher coached Meyer along with six other program alumni who made it to the NHL, including Blue Jackets forwards Sean Kuraly and Jack Roslovic. Meyer is also the fourth Blue Jackets AAA alum to play for the Blue Jackets, joining Roslovic, Kuraly and former Columbus forward Kole Sherwood.
“I think it’s pretty amazing that we’re now three from the same youth organization on the same team here in the NHL, and I think it’s just kind of a testament to what Ed Gingher has done with the program,” Meyer said. “I hope he’s on the glass, so he can see us during warm-ups. I think we’ll try to take a picture before the game, all three together, because I don’t know if something like this will ever happen again. … It’s quite special.
Meyer spent most of this season in Cleveland, where he had 16 goals, 11 assists, 27 points and 63 penalty minutes in 57 games. His only previous NHL experience was in preseason games and an emergency call-up by the Blue Jackets on Feb. 9 in Buffalo when Patrik Laine suffered a hand and wrist injury. Laine ended up playing in a 4-3 overtime win over the Sabers, so Meyer returned to Cleveland after warming up before the game at KeyBank Center.
This time, he and his family were a little better prepared when the call came Sunday noon. His mother, Holly, did not miss her call the second time around, having missed her first call in February.
“She picks up on the first ring now every time,” Meyer said with a laugh. “I was obviously very excited about it. I called my mom, as usual, and then found out this morning when I got to the rink, when the lineup was posted, that I was going to So, I texted my family before I hit the ice and I haven’t checked my phone yet, so I can’t wait to see what they all had to say.
It was a memorable reward for a difficult process.
Meyer had a nasty battle with a tapeworm as a sophomore in Miami, transferred to Ohio State for his final two college seasons, signed an AHL contract with the Monsters after his senior year – although he was drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2017 – and earned his first NHL contract last season as an AHL rookie.
“I’m just going to try to play it simple, play it hard, finish my checks, compete as hard as I can and try to enjoy every moment,” Meyer said, “because I never knew if I would actually make it. so far and here we are.
Blue Jackets pick up Larsen and Werenski; losing Chinakhov, Vincent
Meyer’s NHL debut wasn’t the only update the Blue Jackets released during morning practice.
Others included coach Brad Larsen returning from a COVID-19 infection, assistant coach Pascal Vincent starting COVID protocols on Monday – after replacing Larsen – defender Zach Werenski returning from an upper body injury and rookie forward Yegor Chinakhov not playing due to a built-in bodily injury.
Werenski and Larsen have each missed three games, Vincent will have to self-isolate from the team for at least five days and Chinakhov’s injury is considered ‘overnight’.
Assistant coach Steve McCarthy also remains in isolation under COVID protocol and rookie defenseman Jake Christiansen, recalled on Sunday with Meyer, was expected to team up with Adam Boqvist on the third defense pair.
Werenski says Minnesota Wild’s Jacob Middleton hit was ‘clean’
The Blue Jackets weren’t happy with a hard-hitting hit that knocked Werenski out of a game on March 26 at Minnesota, but the defenseman himself isn’t having a problem with it.
Werenski suffered injuries to his mouth and face as well as an upper body injury believed to be a concussion when Minnesota Wild defenseman Jacob Middleton dragged him off following a shot late in the first period at the Xcel Energy Center. Middleton led with his shoulder and targeted the upper chest, but the impact also pushed the crown of his helmet into Werenski’s mouth/jaw area.
Werenski immediately fell to the ice, grabbing his mouth, and needed the help of two teammates to get off the ice while apparently still dazed.
“It was a good hit, a good game of hockey,” Werenski said Monday, after missing three games with the resulting injury. “Actually, I saw it coming just as I was shooting. The shot itself was fine. It was just a little unfortunate how his helmet got in my mouth and in the chin and jaw area. (I was) pretty shaken up by it at the time and for a few days after that, but the last week has been good.
Werenski said he probably could have played against the Bruins on Saturday in Boston, but opted for the extra game to ensure he was fully recovered.
“When that happens, you’re just kinda wondering what’s going on, just shaking, spitting out bits of teeth… spitting those out, bleeding from the mouth, just a little… all over the place a little,” Werenski said. I felt pretty good a few days after that but those things happen in hockey and like I said it was a clean hit It’s good neck and neck It’s just a shame his helmet gave me returns inside.