COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The feeling is different around the Columbus Blue Jackets as they open training camp later this week.
After years of dysfunction and defeats, they shook up the NHL by going on a tear to close out last season.
Suddenly, they are considered a team to be reckoned with, with the league's best goaltender (Sergei Bobrovsky) from last year, a solid, young defense (featuring Jack Johnson, Fedor Tyutin and Dalton Prout) and a rising offense (Marian Gaborik, Mark Letestu and Artem Anisimov).
Season-ticket sales are up. There's a buzz around the city and, for a change, the players aren't embarking on a season with false hopes while being overmatched in talent.
Expectations are high in a city that has seen only one trip to the playoffs in the franchise's 12 seasons.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Sharks vs. Penguins Game 1 Pick The 2016 Stanley Cup Final gets underway tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the San Jose Sharks at...
Thumbnail Penguins-Sharks Series Preview After a much-needed respite, Pittsburgh and San Jose return to the ice Monday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. Which side will own the upper hand when the action...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Penguins Game 7 Pick Will it be a high-scoring game 7 when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins meet tonight at 8PM...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks look to close out the Western Conference Finals tonight at 9PM ET when they host the St. Louis Blues in...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 6 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning close out the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 8PM ET in...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Sharks vs. Penguins Game 1 Pick The 2016 Stanley Cup Final gets underway tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the San Jose Sharks at...
Thumbnail Penguins-Sharks Series Preview After a much-needed respite, Pittsburgh and San Jose return to the ice Monday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. Which side will own the upper hand when the action...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Penguins Game 7 Pick Will it be a high-scoring game 7 when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins meet tonight at 8PM...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks look to close out the Western Conference Finals tonight at 9PM ET when they host the St. Louis Blues in...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 6 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning close out the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 8PM ET in...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Team Pages