After a Calder Trophy--winning season, goaltender Steve Mason underachieved so mightily that he was yanked from the crease seven times during the season and saw his GAA balloon from 2.29 to 3.06. Defenseman Mike Commodore struggled with injuries throughout the year, and Derick Brassard, who scored 10 goals in just 31 games in '08--09, finished with nine in 79.
"They were really disappointed in themselves," new coach Scott Arniel, who was hired in June, says of his players. "[There's] lots of frustration over how last year went."
Arniel, a former AHL coach of the year in Winnipeg, promises to bring up-tempo, offensive hockey to Ohio—a departure from the Blue Jackets' ultraresponsible style under Ken Hitchcock.
"We're going to have some growing pains," G.M. Scott Howson says. "But we'll go through them together and hopefully work them out and come out better on the other end."
Unfortunately for Howson, that's not likely to happen anytime soon.