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So Different But Yet Very Similar

July 21, 2011, 9:11 PM ET [ Comments]
Eric Smith
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One of the biggest things to come out of yesterday's press conference when the Blue Jackets officially introduced Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski was outside the bleached golden locks that both had was the stark difference between them. It was both in their physical appearance but also their personalities.

Carter is 6-foot-3 and a slender build at around 200 pounds and looks like a golden Labrador where you know he's athletic and is graceful but also he's thinking and analyzing the situation all the time.

Wisniewski on the other hand is listed at 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds and the look of a pit-bull. Still athletic but will growl and bite you and ask questions later.

Looks can be deceiving but with these two, the look seems to fit their personalities too. Big questions swirled around about Carter after the trade as he went quiet and didn't talk publicly for several days. Some speculated he was upset with having to go to Columbus and may not even report. What it represented was the approach that Carter takes which is more cerebral than letting his emotions take over.

"When it all went down, I was in shock," Carter explained about when he found out about the trade. "There was a lot of emotions going through (me). I took some time to sit back and think about everything before I came out and talked. I didn't want to come right out and say something that I might regret down the road."

It's obvious that he isn't void of emotions as he had strong allegiance to the Philadelphia organization and thus was why he signed a career ending contract with them with the vision of retiring there. Carter won't let those emotions let him do something that will have long term negative. But also know that Carter won't be firecracker in the locker room as his approach is very professional.

For that firecracker, Wisniewski is more than happy to be that guy. "The Wiz" is brimming with confidence and isn't afraid to say what he thinks.

"I think our power play is going to look pretty good come day one," Wisniewski said while the press sat in stunned silence when he said it.

Anyone to have the cojones to sit at his first public appearance as a Blue Jacket and announce that their man advantage will something to be reckoned with the first time it hits the ice is something to behold. He didn't go as far to compare the Jackets to the '88/'89 Penguins but with the history of this organization through the years on the power play, it still was a big coming out statement.

What they do have in common is that they both want to be the "piece of the puzzle" that turns the CBJ into a playoff squad. Both repeated it often about being that piece just sometimes in their own way.

"You look at the roster," Carter described. "You have a goalie like Steve Mason, he's shown what he can do in this league. Guys like Rick Nash, R.J. Umberger; there's some real good hockey players on this team."

With that, Wisniewski threw up his hands and caught Carter's attention to let him know that not only is he a good player but he wants to be on that list of players when they talk about the core of the Blue Jackets.

Repeatedly I saw fans around the NHL question what the big deal about Carter and Wisniewski having this press conference was and it the grand scheme of things it wasn't. What was a big deal is the ushering in of a legit core of players that Blue Jacket fans will now know what they will get when the Union Blue hit the ice. Too much in the past was on the hope and prayer of a rushed young player or a washed up veteran. There is still plenty of question marks to the team but at least the team and the fans know the questions. Before, with 18 and 19 year old rookies no one knew what the warts were on their game and in turn most knew what the outcome of the season was going to be.

With this off season there is a renewed hope through the fans with general manager Scott Howson and how he has stepped out of his comfort zone to make bold moves. Season ticket holders are buoyed by the fact that for the first time Nash has a first line center to play with and a legit power play quarterback on the blue line. Now it will be the anticipation that will be the hardest thing to deal with this off season versus despair.

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