Lockout Day 35- My Interview with Howling Hockey Part 2


January 13, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival (32) falls to the ice to block the shot of Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash (61) during the third period at Nationwide Arena. Columbus defeated Phoenix 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-US PRESSWIRE

Columbus Blue Jackets Chalk Talk Part 2

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Here is part two of getting to know our friends at Fire The Cannon. I urge you to take a look at their site and find the next player GMDM will bring over at the trading deadline. Fan Favorite Adrian Aucoin is on a one  year contract with the Blue Jackets who have been rebuilt after the last couple of years.

1) Watching the Rick Nash debacle last year something I would not want to go through. How was it from a Columbus fan’s point of view and as someone who covers the team. 

Well most people have an idea of what publicly released went on:  Rick Nash asked to be traded. This fact was not reviled until after the trade deadline had passed and it was well known the Nash was on the trade block. Although there is a lot of conjecture around this fact, nobody actually knows the exact reasons. [My opinion is that it had to do with his captaincy. Rick is pretty laid back. I suspect {and remember this was after Craig Patrick was hired on 12/11/11} My thought is he was told or suggested that his best player, lead by example leadership was not working and he needed to change or step down as Captain] Then the drama or debacle started. Nash had a no trade contract, but he agreed  to waive that for specific teams.
Fans were in an uproar. What!! Trade the face of the Blue Jackets??? Never, it was all PR, … Etc. Slowly the din reduced. Knowledgeable hockey fans were heard discussing the fact that maybe it was time to Rick to move on as Columbus just wasn’t progressing. [even while expressing concern about the Nash gap] Fans grew used to the fact the their belovid Rick would probably be gone. Note: on the last game of the season there were a number of handmade signs expressing more or less “keep Nash, Fire Howson”.
GM Scott Howson is not the most skilled person in PR. So in an attempt to maximize what he got for Nash in a trade, a trade did not just happen over nite. Many names were bandied about. Most were star for star conjectures by fan types. Every rumor was a stab in the heart or back to the majority of fans. Meanwhile being a class person, Nash did not say a thing. More realistic hockey people could already see that the trade would probably get 2-3 non stars in exchange for Nash. Which of course is what happened.
The biggest debacle was more or less in the PR side. Loosing the “face of the franchise” is heart wrenching and all the issues that will ensue will be pointed out. But I think it was necessary for a rebuild into a new higher potential team.

2) The rumor is that John Davidson is going to come in and take over the Blue Jackets. Is there anything to that story? In your opinion, is the lack of success by Columbus coming from the front office or on-ice? 
John has had 2 “interviews at Columbus, the latest being this past weekend. He brought his wife and they were shown neighborhoods. Senior Adviser Craig Patrick and Davidson have a history that goes back many years, so that also could be a factor. I believe Columbus has or will make an offer. But as I pointed out previously, it takes 2 to dance. Does he want to come? Could there be a revenge on the Blues in the back of his mind? Hard to say. Again, we as fans would hire him in a moment. BUT…..we have no idea what is really going on behind closed doors.
As far as blame on the Blue Jackets lack of success, there is plenty to go around, on the ice, off the ice, in the front office, everywhere. But if I had to say one problem it would be naiveitivy if that’s a word, coming from being naive. Columbus started a hockey club from scratch. I believe they hired people who they thought could organize and run the club, but in the end did not or could not, and via errors of commission and omission the situation became FUBAR as warning bells did not exitst, only enthusiasm. Now,there is a movement to correct this. Time will tell if the road being traveled is correct, but we are trying.