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Jackets fire Hitchcock, GM Howson should be next

By Peter D. McAlister

Now that the Columbus Blue Jackets have officially announced the firing of head coach Ken Hitchcock, it is time for the organization to address an even bigger issue. Why did general manager Scott Howson wait this long to decide on a new direction for the franchise when it was obvious one and a half months ago?

A coaching change should have taken place prior to the team’s long Western Conference road trip that began December 19 in Colorado after the Jackets played miserably in a stretch of games earlier that month in which six of nine contests were in Nationwide Arena. Howson sat idly by and did nothing, other than the Jason Chimera trade to the Capitals, while the team continued to lack the energy, talent, fortitude and guidance to compete night in and night out in the National Hockey League. The Jackets were as far back in the playoff race then as they are today and had not exhibited any noticeable improvement. This was unacceptable then and it is now. Howson’s blueprint for Columbus is a miserable failure and it is time for the GM to go down the same road as Hitch and get axed.

Ownership should not be left without blame either. In any other NHL city, what has happened in Columbus this season simply wouldn’t be tolerated. Not by the fans, not by the local media and certainly not by the investors who control the purse strings. But yet until today, like Howson, the upper echelon of the organization has refused to recognize how incompetent and undermanned the Jackets have been, both on and off the ice. I have stressed this very point on bluejacketsmix.com since late November.

After qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in the franchise’s brief history during the 2008-2009 campaign, this team has absolutely nothing to show for it other than bad memories of a 4-0 Red Wings sweep in the first round. With a second straight post season appearance unattainable the Jackets - once again - must start over. A new direction should have taken place no later than the middle of December and anyone involved in this front office fiasco that supported putting it off until February should be shown the door like Ken Hitchcock was today.

23 comments:

  1. Damn homey you were right on.

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  2. maybe if the jackets called you up in november and we wouldn't be going through this mess

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  3. I didn't think the Jackets would pull the plug. Thank god there is hope in C-bus.

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  4. Peter, this was a freight train waiting to wreck and it did not come soon enough for Jackets nation

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  5. Mark this down now Kevin Dineen will be the next head coach

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  6. Give me a bleeping break. Fire Hitch. Why not get rid of all the low talent players aside from Nasher and Russell and let Hitch build his on team. Howson is an idiot.

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  7. Peter,
    You have been correct about nearly everything you've posted all season long. Wake up CBJ fans and quit putting your heads in the sand!

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  8. That crap that is the Dispatch finally jumps on the bandwagon like they have felt this way all along. Columbus TV is not any better. Now that the team is bleeding red finacially now it is their time to start pointing fingers. This team is going nowhere. In the standings or a move out of town.

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  9. Hitchcock isn't the problem it is the entire organization - good points though.

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  10. Why not fire the scouting staff. Other than Nasher our choices grade out at D-.

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  11. Sorry about your luck guys but is good for the team in the long run!

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  12. Maybe it is time for the Jackets to realize that the party is over. Tear the building down and start over from the ground up. This group of so called major league athletes are a joke. Good ridence Torres, Commadore, Mason, etc.all. Keep Nasher, Garon, Russell, Dorsett and a few other players that care and toss the rest aside. No guts no glory.

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  13. Hey Jackets fans, timing is everything. There is nobody out there to take over for Hitch right now. Recycle the Blue's coach, I don't think so. He couldn't get along with younger players like Hitch so he was given the door. My money is on some low level AHL coach because of the money issues with the club.

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  14. This sucks and it is a sad statement that this organiztion has been this incompatent for over a decade. Mr Mac we miss you!

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  15. To Doug Fan, Dineen is not NHL head coach caliber. Tough player but follow his path in the Buffalo organization. Only an established coach can turn this crap hole around.

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  16. Peter,
    I told you a couple of articles ago that Hitch's style just doesn't work in this NHL. Especially with younger talent. we are both vindicated for what that is worth.

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  17. Great night for Columbus and Ohio. Jackets suck, go Bucks! Maybe mayor for life Coleman will tear down the arena and build a park like he did city center. It would be an improvement.

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  18. peter what is your take on the stuff today, as for the buckeye guy get a life

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  19. Going to the game against the Stars tonight. Hopefully the boys will take their heads out their ass. Hitch deserves better.

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  20. Thanks for taking Howson off our hands. But then again it couldn't get much worse than here in Edmonton. Jacket fans hang in there, it takes a village and all we both have now is a little hut.

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  21. I saw all this comimg when the team was announced in the late 90's. Total failure, no one cares and a move out of town to Indy or KC. Good riddence Jackets and Jackets fans!

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  22. Hitch was run out of town by a bunch of whining babies and the likes of you and the paper

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  23. Let's Go Jackets, thrash the Sabres tonight!

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