After what was the Columbus Blue Jackets' most aggressive offseason in franchise history, it was predicted that the Union Blue would finally emerge from the basement of the Western Conference and contend for the playoffs.
General Manager Scott Howson stepped out of his comfort zone–building his team through the draft–and traded away the team's first round pick and talented youngster Jakub Voracek for All-Star center Jeff Carter.
Carter finally filled the top-line center role that the team has been searching for ever since they drafted captain Rick Nash back in 2002.
Howson was not done there, as he also fixed the issue that was the Blue Jackets power play. Just hours before the start of free agency, the team locked up defenseman and powerplay quarterback James Wisniewski to a six-year deal.
For the first time in a long time, it seemed that the Blue Jackets had a powerful and dangerous man-advantage.
However, as we all know, the start to Columbus' season has not gone as planned as two months have passed and the Jackets remain the worst team in the NHL with only seven wins.
The team was without both Carter and Wisniewski for durations at the start of the season as Carter suffered a fracture in his foot and Wisniewski served an eight-game suspension for an incident during the preseason.
The Blue Jackets have struggled to score this season averaging only 2.4 goals a game, which has forced the team's goaltenders to be at their best night in and night out.
No. 1 goaltender Steve Mason has been anything but that and has found his way to the bench for the time being.
Although there has not been a lot to write home about this season, there have still been some interesting surprises along the way.