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Time for a Jackets fire sale

By Peter D. McAlister

The clock struck midnight Saturday for the Columbus Blue Jackets as they lost 6-5 to the Chicago Blackhawks before 18,738 fans in Nationwide Arena. The fact that a loyal following packed the rink with an over capacity crowd to watch a team with no identity or grit is amazing, but even more stunning is that the organization’s ownership group continues to stay the course and watch the team sink further into the abyss.

Jackets’ nation has had enough. It is time for a good old fashion fire sale. Howson out, Hitchcock out, and underperformers like Mike Commadore out. Follow that up by sending a handful of players, including goalie Steve Mason, to Syracuse and give them the opportunity to build confidence and prove their worth. It is time to move on as this fiasco simply cannot continue.

To the brass: dump everything of value with the exception of Captain Rick Nash and move in another direction. You can deny that the Titanic is sinking but it is still going to sink. Save what is salvageable and build a better ship. To hear the constant beat of a drum from local media and players that this team is still a playoff contender is insulting to everyone that supports the Jackets. They have won only two games all season in the Central Division while losing ten as cellar dwellers. What makes anyone think that they can compete in the Western Conference, let alone the entire National Hockey League, when the coaching staff and players continue to mesh like a shredded quilt?

I have said it before, Ken Hitchcock is a good coach and an even better person but his stint in Columbus is just not working out at this point. The feel good season that was 2008-2009 was the result of a rookie goaltender playing at a level of hockey rarely seen in the NHL. Now that Steve Mason is experiencing a sophomore slump the Jackets have been exposed as the team that they truly are. The Jackets lack top tier talent across the board and are not physical enough to stand up to the rigors of an 82 game season. They also do not have a number one center or top defenseman. Simply put, this group of players put together by Scott Howson and the organization cannot match up game in and game out with the big boys.

Blue Jackets backers like me have only one question. When will this charade finally end?

31 comments:

  1. Once again Peter your negativety continues. While they did lose last night they played a sprited game and scored five goals. Give credit where credit is due and how about Nasher with two zingers.

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  2. While a very insightful analysis from an obviously fed up fan, it was a very harsh considering a well played three quarters.

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  3. hey to the last clown, richard says they lost again, what is next feeling good for the team because they came in 29th place instead of 30th at the end of the season
    they are lottery bound and will lose that too and get another hopeless project

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  4. As a big fan of hockey and Rick Nash, this isn't the way to play the game in today's NHL. Hitch and his style of check, mug and dump do not work anymore. Speed backed up by toughness do. This Jacket team has neither. I do not think it is the organization but players aside from a few bright spots.

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  5. It is so much fun going to Blue Jackets games - until the horn sounds and they lose again. I was there last night, were you? I didn't think so. At least I ride the train wreck and don't jump off!

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  6. blah blah blah blah blan reading your stuff is like listening to the adults on a charlie brown cartoon go buckeyes

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  7. Hey Gerald the Skater, you must be skating through life if you still watch Charlie Brown! My boy Peter is right and the Buckeyes suck as well. Go SEC.

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  8. Can anyone on this site explain to me what the Buckeye football team has to do with hockey or the comments. I am sure there are plenty of football blogs that you can rant on. This is about hockey and not what Tressell put on when he woke up this morning. The Jackets are done this season plain and simple and anybody that denies that are as nuts as Bucks fans.

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  9. sometimes it is good to be harsh and I agree with everything other than maybe trading slacker C Nash to Toronto for two or three first round draft picks as he has no hart other than the thing that pumps blood

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  10. Why attack my favorite player? Rick Nash would be welcome on any team in hockey and Columbus fans do not appreciate what they have. In Toronto he would be a hockey god. When the Jackets win the Stanley Cup in the next few years all this negativity will go away. Writer guy will be eating crow in a few. As for anon don't hide behind the net.

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  11. I was there last night sitting in my glass seats in section 115 with a buddy. Day one seat license holder. Painful, but yet another "good effort" if you want to blieve the powers to be. Can anyone tell us fans when the Dispatch and FSN Ohio will stop the rah, rah, rah crap and report reality. The game was entertaining but we do not want just entertainment, WIN BABY WIN. The placed was packed though.

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  12. The question is not when will the Columbus Blue Jackets and Rick Nash start winning this season but rather when will they stop losing? Many of the small market teams like Columbus have a blind and loyal following that is taken for granted by ownership, including here in Edmonton. They build it and the fans will come. That will only last for so long, just ask followers of the Hartford Whalers. Greetings from chilly Alberta.

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  13. Fire sale. If our Jackets have a fire sale we will win 15 to 20 games next season. Sure five years down the road we are better but what about now? Scottie has a plan and even if Hitch doesn't survive it will all work out in the end. Howson and his direction is not the problem, patience from the fans and media are.

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  14. Watching this team is like riding on a roller coaster that has no off ramp. As much as I love my Jackets there comes a point where you have to say enough is enough. After the playoffs last year I expected much more.

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  15. Mr. Mac Jr. is the problem. He runs this team as a business and a business only. Mr. Mac Sr. would never put up with this. His civic pride brought this franchise to Columbus and his son's inability to fill his shoes put the organization on a slippery slope. Bad judgement and bad decisions from current ownership are unacceptable.

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  16. Hey puckhead get a life, they suck, get over it.

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  17. Your comments piss alot of folks off but you are right on. This team does not have the talent or will that the top teams do. I wouldn't get rid of Hitchcock though because his style of hockey is what the playoffs are all about. Getting to the playoffs is the problem. The players that are on the current roster need a lesson smacked upside their heads. That includes Ricky.

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  18. Down in the States you guys have to face reality. Hell, up here we haven't had a Stanley Cup Champ in ages or like it seems.

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  19. the jackets will not go any further than their captain who has been awol for most of the season

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  20. Guys like you and the Dispatch are only preaching to your followers. Get objective and maybe you will understand that only one team will win the cup.

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  21. hey jacketman we want the cup and not a runner up could have been

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  22. Great article. Sometimes the truth hurts. The only problem I have with it is that you have idiots webbing that have no idea what hockey is or how it is played. Can you please put a block on those judheads.

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  23. the jackets just won against the bruins 3-2 what do you have to say about that junior

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  24. It was fun to watch a game tonight that the players acted like they cared. Maybe, just maybe, they can continue this on for the rest of the season and build for next year. Just don't fall out of a lottery pick in the process.

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  25. Followed your stuff from the nhlmix site. Didn't know folks in Columbus were that tuned in. Seems like the Jackets have been building for the future since they got an expansion team a decade ago. Good luck.

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  26. Hey Peter, we can relate up here in the Windy City. The Blackhawks sucked for a decade until the old man was put out to pasture and his son took over. Now in Chicagoland we can actually watch home games on local TV, the team is great and we no longer have only ten thousand fans in the United Center. The Central needs Columbus to rebound too as division rivalries are fun for all true fans.

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  27. jackets fans hang in there until February so you can watch your boys in the olympics as that is the only good they will do all season and maybe one or two of them will win a medal

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  28. Growing up in Ohio and a Bengals and hockey fan I never thought I would see a major league team in Columbus in any sport. Peter you may push the window but the Jackets are what they are at this point. Time for an overhall fom the top down and maybe my trips up I71 to see a couple games a year will be more enjoyable. Especially on the ride home.

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  29. peter, the next eight games before the olympics will tell the story, remember the blues last year as the playoffs are still possible

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  30. Get the Columbus Disgrace and read Tom Reeds' article today on Jacket fans and attendance. A hell of a lot of ticket holders agree with you and the views. Less butts in the seats and money in the registers mean change. Look forward to your next slant on the team.

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  31. Congrats to the Jackets for winning tonight!

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