Things We Love: Blue Jackets 'lifer' Jody Shelley

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Jody Shelley is a Columbus Blue Jackets "lifer."

Shelley joined the CBJ as a free agent in 2001 and appeared in 380 games with the club, which ranks seventh all-time. A fan favorite, he's second all-time in penalty minutes, led the team in penalty minutes four times (2001-06) and owns the club record for penalty minutes in a season with 249 PIM in 2002-03.

After playing stints with the San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, Shelley rejoined the CBJ in 2013 when he was named a broadcast associate and team ambassador and began serving as the club's television color analyst on Fox Sports Ohio.

He's also active in assembling alumni events for ex-Jackets, acknowledging the importance of this community to the guys on the team and vice versa over its still-brief history.

He and his wife, Mandy, are the parents of a son, Owen, and daughter, Evelyn.

He took some time out to talk toAlive about some things he loves.

We bought a Winnebago about a year ago and I love driving it. Our first trip was 36 hours of drive time to visit my parents in northern Alberta, which was tremendous. [It was] me and my 7-year-old son and my 6-year old daughter and my wife and my mother-in-law. She's awesome. It was a veteran move to bring her along.

People are so warm and welcome when they see you in an RV. I don't know if it's the Cousin Eddie effect or what. But no, it's great. And we came back through Montana. Big windshield, panoramic views. We took four days each way. The best thing about traveling in an RV is you're on your own time, at your own pace, stop when you want, and you've got your bed, your family and your food. I'm hooked.

[I love] any breakfast, but I really love, whether it's summer time or before school, having breakfast with the family. I try to be in charge [of fixing it]. I'm the Pancake Master, is what I call myself, although that might be in my own mind. We'll mix it up and do bacon and eggs or hash browns. Nothing too over-the-top. Simple.

I'm in the right city for this. And I have the right job, where I get to travel to New York, Chicago, LA, anywhere in Canada, where I get to have some of my favorite meals. We love Lindey's. [We sit] on the patio in the summer, and for Christmas it's our go-to. We love The Rossi in the Short North for a casual burger, and those fries are tremendous. And we love Hyde Park when we're looking for a steak.

I love the quaint shops. Stauf's in Grandview is good. But I'm from Canada, and Tim Horton's is number one. It should be on the Canadian flag. What is Canada? Beer, hockey [and] Tim Horton's. I'm really on a cream kick. Cream and sugar. I try to get raw sugar because for some reason I think it's healthy. And caffeine all day long. I try not to cheat myself.

I love people, and I love a good laugh with people. Not at a comedy club. I just love sharing a good laugh with people. I love meeting people, which fits in with my job. When I can share a good laugh with someone, there's something about that I love. I try to be good at making people laugh, but I need to work on my delivery a little. I definitely don't try to be serious - unless I have to.

I think that's obvious. I started as a Blue Jacket. My fantasy growing up was playing in the NHL, and the Blue Jackets gave me that opportunity. I say fantasy because for me it wasn't even a dream. When I got traded from here [in 2008] I was shocked, but when I was away I became even more interested in what's going on [and] I was more of a fan. I've always had a loyalty. I love what they are about. I love being in [the arena] on a game night. I love listening to the fans after a victory. I love being in traffic after a victory. It just makes sense. The idea from when they started and Mr. Mac (the club's late founder John H. McConnell) wanting them to be in the community.

This I really love. I got to play until I was 37. I finished in Philadelphia. 12 years, 630 games or so. And I fought. So [now] I don't fight. I haven't had stiches in three years. I love that. I love being retired and I love not having stitches. I'm telling you, I started at 18 having stitches every winter and went till I was 37. … But that is one of my favorite things. No stitches on my face. I've had over 500 stitches in my face. You might want to note that. And now I'm on TV. Figure that out. Thank you doctors and good genes I guess.