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Columbus, OHIO -- Three Blue Jacket legends had their numbers retired today at Nationwide Arena prior to the team's game against the Montreal Canadiens.

First, the great Vaclav Varada's #27 was raised to the rafters. Varada played a total of 85 games for the Jackets during the franchise's so-called "glory years" of the mid-00's. In his rookie season in 2005-06, Varada dressed in 71 games for Columbus and posted 2 goals, 4 assists and was a -13 on the year. Those numbers helped the Jackets finish 14th in the Western Conference. In 2006-07, Varada had a career year: in 14 games played, he had 0 goals and 3 assists for an average of 0.21 points per game.

The next number to be retired was the #40 of goaltender Alex Auld. As Jackets back-up for 2 full seasons, Auld was able to record a winning record of 24-21-1 while backing Vesa Toskala. Although still currently playing in the NEFHL, the Blue Jackets wanted to recognize Auld's successes and chose to immediately retire his number.

The last jersey to be retired was that of Petr Sykora (#73). Sykora played two and a half seasons in Columbus and is among the franchise's all-time scoring leaders. Acquired from New Jersey in the summer of 2006, Sykora went on to post 24 goals and 22 assists during his first season at Nationwide. That was followed by a record-breaker season in 2007-2008 where he put up 25 goals and a whopping 50 assists. He was an instrumental part in the Jackets' first and only playoff appearance in the spring of 2008.

Shortly after tonight's ceremony, GM Eric distributed the ballots for next year's number retirements. Potential numbers to be retired include the #45 of Vesa Toskala, the #28 of Mark Bell and the #44 of Sergei Brylin.

- BJ Express