Jody Shelley played one game for the Blue Jackets in their inaugural season against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He recorded 10 penalty minutes in his NHL debut.
The following season he played 52 games for the Blue Jackets, and he registered 206 penalty minutes.
An enforcer tends to win the hearts of fans who cheer for a team that dwells in the basement. Shelley was the original fan favorite in Columbus and he still has fans in the city years after he was traded to the San Jose Sharks.
Overall, he’s played 11 seasons in the NHL and recorded over 1500 penalty minutes.
Shelley announced his retirement last month. The Blue Jackets gave Shelley his first shot in the NHL as a player and now they are giving him his first shot in the NHL as a member of the front office.
His responsibilities will include commentary on radio broadcasts and possibly TV broadcasts, as well. He is expected to be active in various business and community initiatives for the team. It’s a great opportunity to extend to the legacy of charity work he began before he was traded.
Jody met his wife in Columbus and still owns part of D1 Sports Training facility just north of the city. His intention was to return to Columbus when he retired.
The fans couldn’t be happier to know that he is finally home. Jody is the perfect candidate to be an ambassador for the team and this is already being hailed as a terrific move for the organization, practically and as a PR move.
On a personal note: I grew up in Johnstown, PA. This city is historic because it was destroyed by a massive flood (two or three times) and the movie Slap Shot was filmed here. In 2010 we lost our ECHL franchise, the Johnstown Chiefs. However, Shelley played two seasons with the Chiefs between 1998-2000 where he was also a fan favorite. I’m sharing this video to give you a glimpse into two of the wildest seasons in the franchise’s history.