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Blue Jackets: Fedor Tyutin embraces veteran role.
8 2015 . By Shawn Mitchell. The Columbus Dispatch.

There are plenty of players other than defenseman Fedor Tyutin who hold court and sway in the captain-less Blue Jackets dressing room.

A few are older, with experience that rivals or surpasses that of the Russian. Nearly all of them are more outspoken, their voices heard more often and at a higher volume. But, as noted on the occasion of Tyutins 700th NHL game, there might be none wiser.

Hes been around, and 700 games will do that, coach Todd Richards said before Tyutin became the 97th active player to hit that milestone on Tuesday night in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. He obviously puts a lot of thought into his game and the team game.

Tyutin, 31, has played in 450 games for the Blue Jackets since arriving in a trade from the New York Rangers in July 2008.

Right wing Jared Boll (454 games) is the only Jacket to have played more games for the team. Left wing Scott Hartnell is the only current Jacket to have played more games in the NHL (986). But it is Tyutin who is at the quiet core of the team, a thoughtful, well-liked defender who has gracefully morphed from young talent to midcareer workhorse to savvy, leaned-on veteran.

Ive been here five years now, and you see guys grow into those different roles, said Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert, who at 25 is the third-longest-tenured player on one of the NHLs youngest teams.

(Tyutin) has really embraced the role he is in now. Hes real positive and he comes to the rink every day and does his job. Hes the guy that always gets that puck out and finds a way to shimmy his way around that forechecker. Our young d-men can soak that up like a sponge.

Tyutin can occupy any spot among the Jackets defensemen. He now resides on the third pair, next to a younger player, often Dalton Prout and most recently Cody Goloubef.

Although Tyutins power-play time has decreased with the emergence of David Savard and Kevin Connauton and he missed 13 games in November and December because of a knee injury, Tyutin has still averaged 20:11 of ice time a game, fourth among Jackets defensemen. He has one goal, three assists and a minus-1 rating in 25 games.

Some nights are going to be better than others, but hes a guy you dont have to worry about, Richards said. You dont have to worry about his preparation and you dont have to worry about him out on the ice.

Tyutin celebrated his milestone game on Tuesday by blocking a game-high four shots. He took no shots and had no points in 19:54 of ice time.

Save for two hooking penalties, Tyutin was, well, Tyutin. Although that has not and will not make him an All-Star, it has allowed him to play on the games greatest stage. Tyutin, a husband and father of three who resides in Upper Arlington, has represented Russia at three Olympics.

Just thinking back Ive enjoyed the road, Tyutin said before Tuesdays game. And Im just trying to keep going.

Will he reach 1,000 games, roundly considered the definitive mark of NHL longevity?

I set no goals like that, he said. As long as I keep enjoying myself on the ice, Ill keep playing.

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