COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
LAST SEASON: 42-35-5, missed the playoffs.
COACH: Todd Richards, seven years, 204-176-37.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Saad. Columbus traded Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round pick for the 22-year old Saad, Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta. Saad is coming off a year in which he set career highs in goals (23), assists (29) and points (52) with Chicago. Already ensconced as the top line left wing, it would not be surprising to see Saad improve those numbers playing with center Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno.
OUTLOOK: Last April after an overtime road loss to the New York Rangers, coach Todd Richards stated unequivocally that ''there's confidence, belief in the room.'' Columbus won 15 of its final 17 games to end the season. Adding Saad and Campbell in the offseason has many observers viewing Columbus as a playoff team.