Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski was suspended for the remainder of the preseason, plus 8 regular season games for a hit on Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck.
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson shared his reaction with 97.1 The Fan:
Will you appeal the NHL’s decision?
“Ultimately, this is something that’s happened to our team and James, and James is still pretty distraught over it. He’s disappointed, so he hasn’t collected all his thoughts about it, but I would say it’s pretty doubtful that we appeal it.”
So then how would you describe the punishment the league handed down?
We believe the punishment is severe and harsh…You know what? The decision’s been made. We can’t change the decision. We’ve got to move on.”
Who do you need to step up in Wizniewski’s absence?
“The whole group is going to have to step up and play well. It’s not one person who’s going to replace James. We’re going to have to get a little bit more out of the whole group. And somebody’s obviously going to have to play that wouldn’t have been in the lineup to start, but we feel like between Aaron Johnson, and Nick Holden, and John Moore, and David Savard, that they’ve all had very good camps, and we think one of those players will be able to step up and contribute.”
Will Wizniewski have to change his style of play?
“He plays with an edge. That was part of the attraction to James, and we don’t want him to change that. He’s just going to have to learn to play with that edge within the confines of what the rules are. And he feels as badly about this as everybody. It hurts the team. It hurts him financially. And we’ll have lots of discussions about what we can learn from this.”