The Columbus Blue Jackets are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Blue Jackets were founded as an expansion team in 2000. In their initial years, the Blue Jackets struggled, failing to win 30 games in a season until the 2005-06 season. The team qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in 2009, but were swept. Columbus ultimately notched their first playoff game victory in the 2014 playoffs and five years later won their first playoff series in the 2019 playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning, becoming the first team in NHL history to sweep a Presidents' Trophy winner in the first round. The Blue Jackets' name and logos are inspired by Ohio's Civil War history. The Blue Jackets play their home games at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, which opened in 2000. They are affiliated with the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL.
Prior to the creation of the Blue Jackets, the last NHL team in Ohio was the Cleveland Barons, who played from 1976 to 1978. The Columbus Blue Jackets replaced the Columbus Chill of the ECHL, which played in the city from 1991 to 1999. The Chill played at the Ohio Expo Center Coliseum, where they set a minor league hockey record by selling 83 consecutive games.
Stinger is the official mascot of the Blue Jackets. The Stinger is a 6-foot-9-inch bright green beetle that walks among the crowd during games and skates on the ice between periods while wearing a Blue Jackets jersey and a blue hat. Eyebrow Stingers are black hockey sticks. The Stinger was originally yellow, but was changed to green, eventually blending in with the team's blue color.The Stinger image was on the original Blue Jackets jerseys, eventually removed in 2003. The team also had another mascot, an anthropomorphic cannon named Boomer, for half of the 2010/11 season.
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