Columbus assembling talented nucleus

Updated: August 15, 2003, 11:03 AM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
As Columbus prepares to chase the franchise's first playoff appearance, Blue Jackets head coach-general manager-president Doug MacLean isn't concerned about the loss of leading scorer Ray Whitney to Detroit through free agency.

MacLean said he believes the additions of forwards Todd Marchant and Trevor Letowski, who were signed as unrestricted free agents, will more than make up for Whitney's 24 goals and 52 assists last season.

Whitney scored 42 of his 76 points with the man advantage, but was a minus-26. Marchant had 20 goals, 60 points and a plus-13 rating for Edmonton while Letowski scored 11 goals, 25 points and was a plus-eight for Vancouver.