Bonne Jenner of Blue Jackets threw problems behind his back: ‘I feel good, ready to go’

Columbus, Ohio – This was supposed to be one of the best nights of the 2021-22 season blue jackets.

They have been physically surpassed by Minnesota Wild Most of that March 11th match but keep plugging away until Zach Ferensky Sign up late in regulation to force extra time on March 11th. The match was incredibly strong, especially after the veteran winger Jacob Voracek He was sent writhing in pain on a low bridge hit by Minnesota Marcos Foligno.

When the rookie Igor Chinakov Scored in the penalty shootout to win 3-2, the charming Nationwide Arena broke out.

The post-game dressing room was also full of emotions, but not all of them were positive.

Captain Blue Jackets Bon Jenner, who was on course for his career season, pulled coach Brad Larsen aside for a tearful conversation. Jenner had a back injury for a while, but had reached a point where it was no longer possible to play.

“It was really hard,” Jenner said. “I was due to be in a place where I didn’t think I could go as hard or as much as I wanted. It was hard, of course, because you want to be there.

“It was a huge win that night, a very emotional game. But knowing that it was creeping up on me and I didn’t feel like any better… I just had to make a decision at that point. It really sucked.”

Larsen was mysteriously defeated after that match. A few days later, he fought back tears in explaining Jenner’s position to the media.

Jenner will not play again the rest of the season. If the Blue Jackets were in a playoff race, Jenner said he might have been able to get dressed in the last week or so of the regular season. But there was no such race.

Since Jenner has moved away, fans of Blue Jackets have wondered about Jenner’s standing. Back injuries are known to be difficult. Will he be ready for boot camp? Is this a chronic injury that could marginalize him again?

Well, if there’s one thing Jenner hates more than injuries it’s Discuss his injuries, but he was gentle (as always) and was more frank than usual in a discussion late last week with the athlete.

Labor Day is the place on the calendar most often NHL Players start packing their booths and head south for the season. Jenner, like many of his blue-jackets, is expected to return to town later this week to start volunteer skates before training camp.

“I feel really good, and definitely ready to go,” Jenner said when asked about his back specifically.

“I came back (this summer) and started training, and I tried to get to 100 percent. After the year was over, the thought was just to get healthy and then take it from there. I’ve been doing it all summer, skiing and working out. I’m happy where I am now.”

Last season was at least the third time in his career that Jenner missed a significant time with a back injury. He missed the last 23 games of the season. In 2015, he missed 40 matches due to a back ailment. In 2017, he missed seven matches.

Jenner said that all three back injuries were different, which can be considered good news. It’s not the same as an injury that gets worse. This is the player who makes his living in the corners and in high-traffic areas.

“They all seem different,” Jenner said. “But I don’t want to go into that too much. That is what it is.

“It’s all part of it. It comes with work. Things are going to happen like anything, you try to cure it, make it strong and come back.”

The Blue Jackets leaned hard on Jenner last season, and it probably was pretty tough. His average icy time of 20:27 was by far a career high — two and a half minutes into each game of the previous season — and he ranked 15th in the NHL among strikers.

Yes, average playing time is more than Jenner Florida‘s Alexander Barkov (20:18), Pittsburgh‘s Sidney Crosby (19:58), Boston‘s Brad Marchand (19:15) or New York Rangers Artemi Banarin (19:13).

This is the value he represented to the Blue Jackets team, not only because of his production (23-21-44 in 59 games), but his ability to play in the middle, win fights, provide a physical advantage and play on both special teams.

Jenner, 29, said he didn’t see any reason to call him back, but Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen indicated that the plan during the show’s season would be to manage Jenner’s daily pregnancy. growing confidence in Cole Selinger And the Jack Ruslovich Where positions can take some pressure off Jenner.

“If anyone was prepared that they were doing everything right, it would be Boone,” said Kekalainen. “You know he put in the work over the summer to be ready. But when you get the ice to grind (camp)… we will manage his load differently than the other guys.

“You can feel good in the weight room, but when you start working out, it can be very different.”

Kekkalainen said the Blue Jackets have signed NHL veteran James Neal for a player trial contract for a training camp, and may sign another long-time player to the PTO in the coming days. Nell may be out of the way for a contract, but its availability will allow the Jackets to meet the NHL’s requirements for veteran players’ pre-season uniforms while giving veterans a breather.

Jenner seems to be just looking forward. He still believed he should play big minutes, and the stakes were rarely greater.

He’s someone who takes a long look between the two top offensive talents in the Blue Jackets, the free agent Johnny Goudro The sniper is back Patrick Lin. Whoever ends up in that spot – Jenner, Selinger or Roslovich – plays heavy and sees a spike in their offensive production.

“We’ll see what happens,” Jenner said. “We have good positions. We are all ready to go to camp and put our work into it.

“You have two really good players (at Gaudreau and Laine). There are good players all over our squad now, but with Johnny’s ability with a puck and a Bate goal… we’ll see what happens.”

(Bon Jenner photo: Jean-Yves Ahern/USA Today)