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Flurry of trades at deadline did little to improve Blue Jackets

By Peter D. McAlister

Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson has some explaining to do. Other than receiving a second round pick in the upcoming National Hockey League draft, the organization made little if any headway into improving the franchise. While handing out millions of dollars during the off season to an underachieving and out of shape Mike Commodore, Howson refused to resign one of the league’s tried and true veterans in Raffi Torres. Torres instantly became the leading scorer for the Buffalo Sabres as soon as the deal was finalized. Discarding the team’s most talented free agent for a fourth line defenseman, a free agent at that, and a draft pick simply does not cut it. Sixth and seventh round conditional picks don’t cut it either, regardless of the under performing trade bait that Howson dangled before any team that would listen.

If former GM Doug MacLean were to pull this stunt he would have been hung out to dry by the Columbus media. Why does Howson get a pass? Indifference maybe, but a more likely scenario is the fact that ownership is just sitting back hoping for the best and planning for the worst, as in a move out of town, while blaming a shrinking fan base and a unfavorable arena lease deal for the team’s peril. It is one thing to aggressively approach the trade deadline with good intentions but is totally baseless and unfair, as in the Jackets’ case, to make transactions with only the bottom line in mind. This is exactly what Howson orchestrated and it is inexcusable. When it comes to the salary cap the Blue Jackets are not now, or have ever been, even close to maxing out. Loyal fans certainly deserve better but you would never know it based on the current front office moves.

While most NHL franchises pushed forward at the deadline via roster additions, most notably New Jersey and Phoenix, or with a total rebuilding process as in the case of Toronto, the CBJ instead took the low road - the very low road. No bells, no whistles, no upgrades. It is one thing to attempt a makeover and fail but it is totally another matter to not even try. At the trade deadline Columbus did not even try. Until the organization changes from top to bottom, including perhaps ownership, this same scenario will continue to play itself out. Pinching pennies, pinching fan’s wallets and making every excuse imaginable to justify the team’s lack of competitiveness.

Loyal Jackets fans deserve better. Many of the faithful have been there since day one and have supported the team as well as the city of Columbus in an effort to bring major league sports to the state’s capital. When will this loyalty finally be rewarded? Unfortunately, under Scott Howson’s watch, it will not happen anytime soon, if ever.

55 comments:

  1. You are once again in a time machine and only dwelling on the negative. First fire Hitch, now get ride of Scottie. What is next, get rid of Nasher, Mason, Boll? The franchise is only 10 years old so give it time. The Browns still suck for goodness sake and they have never been seen a championship in 60 plus years.

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  2. Peter, where have you been with this during the Olympics as we all know it was coming. Howson sucks worse than the jackets themselves!

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  3. you can't be serious in comparing Howson to Maclean Doug was a total incompatant as are you

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  4. You are being too hard on Howson even though he created though train wreck that is the Edmonton Oilers. Give him another year and then judge Peter.

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  5. Peter, first of all I think Oiler Ed has been drinking too much and it is barely 3pm his time. Secondly, I couldn't agree with you more. Howson has no clue. Just slit our throats and get it over with. With his thinking and Clown Noel all the Jackets have to do is win 17 of the next 18 and they are playoff bound.

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  6. Good to hear from you again but if Torres refused to resign with the Jackets what was Scott Howson to do. I do think some of his moves were questionable but to get a second round pick is the best case option. As for the other trades and getting conditional picks, those were a joke!

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  7. Hey Jeremy, it is called Labatts up north.

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  8. As someone who is not subjective like you when will you realize that building a winner is not easy in any sport. The Jackets have the talent to compete very soon. Give the team time. In a year or two we will be celebrating a Stanley Cup final in C-bus!

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  9. Good call my good friend!

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  10. Peter
    If Howson didn't make these moves the Jackets would have got nothing, zero. I understand your slant but it isn't going to help our Jackets one bit.

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  11. Hey Peter,
    While I understand your frustration Scott Howson had to deal to get something in return. If not the Jackets would be left holding the bag.

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  12. Right on my brother, enough is enough and Scott SUCKS!

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  13. If it is not one thing it is another. Howson has his head up his ass and so does Mac Jr. and the rest of the ownership. Mr. Mac we miss you!

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  14. All you losers can always cheer on the Buckeye ballers!

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  15. Hey anonymous we are talking hockey here so what is the score in the Bucks - Notre Dame game tonight as we all hope the Buckeyes do well and win and move on in the CCHA tourney.

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  16. Peter, let me get this right. You are complaining about Howson trading players that were either injured or worth a penny Canadian. You can't have it both ways. It is what it is and he had no choice other than to ship the free loaders for draft picks.

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  17. after the trades I am lost as a fan and am trying to make sense of this crap

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  18. Peter you are not being fair to the talent that remains with the CBJ including hockey's best player. Granted the trades caused hurt in the locker room but they are better off now and in the future.

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  19. I think the dog and pony show that is the Jackets will never end.

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  20. the jackets suck so what is your point anyway

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  21. Nice hatchet job. Read the Dispatch for real news.

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  22. Hey blogger boy get a clue and know what you are talking about. Howson is building this team for the future and all you do is tear them down.

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  23. The Jackets are an accident waiting to happen - or did it already happen? Howson and the front office continue to let us fans down. I think you may be a little harsh but you put your mouth where your heart is. Good job in keeping tabs.

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  24. Is anyone watching the Jackets tonight in San Jose. Great job even though they barely have a shot on goal. D may win this one.

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  25. Peter if Howson is the problem what is you solution, the blame game can only go so far and you continue to press it.

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  26. This team sucks. There is no way around it. Two goals in the third period. We have seen that before haven't we.

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  27. time for us to go in a complete different direction because the jackets simply do not have the talent or speed that the elite nhl teams have

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  28. FOR ONCE I AGREE WITH ANON!

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  29. Hey Eric, when did Sid the Kid get traded to the CBJ? You said the Jackets have the best player in hockey, please don't tell me you are talking about Nash! What an under performing loser and a joke of a C.

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  30. Now that the Jackets are basically out of the playoffs can we please root the boys on for the remainder of the season and stop all this negative crap - it hurts my head.

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  31. Columbus has traded away a number of players in the past like Ray Whitney and Sully and they went on to do big things on other teams including winning Stanley Cups. It is Columbus ownership and management plain and simple. Be it Doug McLean or Howson or the scouting staff, this franchise sucks and it hurts!

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  32. Peter,

    Good take on a pathetic situation. I have been to over a dozen games this year as well as last and still can't figure out what direction this franchise wants to go. It reminds me of my Red Wings ten years ago before the ship was righted.

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  33. Peter,
    Howson is just cleaning up the Dougie Fresh mess. Just listen to Toronto radio and his pathetic excuse for an afternoon hockey show and you will learn more.

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  34. You can not be serious, all you do is put our boys down and say nothing - NOTHING - positive! Get a F***ing life!

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  35. When Peter sees something positve he will report it. Until then go back in your cave you loser.

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  36. okay, okay all you Jacket haters but the reality is that it is all negative, how about something positive for once

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  37. Some people hate the truth and the Jackets are a joke at this point. If the team wants to self implode fine because I am not going down with the ship.

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  38. The season is lost and it is time to move on to next year which should include input from us fans. Go Jackets!

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  39. Don not discount making the playoffs everybody as we only have to win every freaking game to even have a chance at the post season. Just kidding. Howson sucks.

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  40. If the Bluejackets are to look ahead they have to not look behind and forget the past. Jacket nation has to do the same and hope for the best.

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  41. This franchise is an absolute wreck. Quit trading the players and trade the folks that make the decisions. I am sure they can get cushy jobs screwing up the government. I never thought I would yearn for the day that Doug was back.

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  42. It is time for Nash and Mason to man up and carry the CBJ. Enough of this blame game shit, just get it done. Medals don't mean crap unless you can carry it over to the big leagues!

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  43. Peter, in your article you said that the Jackets signed Mike Commodore to his joke of a contract during the off season but they actually did it during last season. Just thought you would like to know that tidbit.

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  44. What is the deal with Howson saying in the paper today that the CBJ needs and offensive defenseman and a number one center. Well, hello! We have needed those two positions since Scottie boy became GM. Please go back to being a two bit ambulance chasing lawyer Scottie boy.

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  45. Who is holding the lynch party tonight. Everybody on this site spews venom and has no solutions. Give Scott Howson a chance and after another year then maybe you can bitch.

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  46. Torres hasn't scored a goal for the Sabres yet! Get your facts straight!

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  47. Actually Peter was correct. I think he was referring to the fact that with the goals Raffi scored for the Jackets he now leads the Sabres in goals.

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  48. Peter, face it the Jackets SUCK! Go BUCKEYES!

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  49. After last night I have had enough. Noel benches Garon after two impressive wins and puts in Mason who was pulled in LA after a joke of an effort. Bye bye Noel you just slit your own throat.

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  50. The players simply want to go on vacation and don't f***ing care! Umberger talks in the paper as if they do and he sucked against the Blues!

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  51. were is an update mac, Rusty the wimp - out - as is two or three other clowns that have just packed it in for the rest of the season, they make me want to puke

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  52. What's your take on the rest of the season as it relates to next year? Nobody is talking about that.

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  53. Another third period meltdown by our Jackets - to the evil Red Wings no less! Where is your take Peter?

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  54. Hey McAlister,
    Did you see that crap tonight. Exit stage left.

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