|Ryan Johansen's future apparently hangs|
in the balance at the same time as
the future of the Columbus Blue Jackets
As many suggest, a decision on Johansen's NHL status should be made with his and the CBJ's best interests in mind. As I've mentioned, Johansen's best interests might not always coincide with the Blue Jackets'. However, it's honestly rather tough to figure out the CBJ's position right now. For more on that, let's go to the Dispatch:
Sources indicated to The Dispatch late Saturday that the Blue Jackets have begun preparing for the possible firing of general manager Scott Howson and coach Scott Arniel should the horrendous start not get turned around quickly.And with that, the past vote of confidence for coach Scott Arniel and general manager Scott Howson becomes as clear as mud. Which doesn't help this Johansen question one bit.
Club president Mike Priest vehemently denied reports that he had discussed a return to coaching by former Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock, or that he had reached out to former NHL executive and current broadcaster Craig Button as a potential GM candidate.
“Let me be clear here, though,” Priest said. “Everybody understands that the losing can’t continue.”
I could write and write about this ad nauseum, but my main concern is, "Will the people who are responsible for making a decision on Johansen right now be the people who have to deal with the consequences (positive and negative) later?" (And by later, I mean later this season...)
|CBJ coach Scott Arniel instructs Ryan Johansen at|
the opening of Blue Jackets training camp
So what I would hope to see is an ownership-level decision on the coaching and hockey operations management to once and for all - at least for the balance of this season - get settled before tackling the Johansen question. Make a change or stay the course, I don't care. But make that decision (or those decisions, depending on how deep a shakeup could go) and then put Johansen in the place that is best for both parties' interests.
It's all a matter of process. Address the macro issues first (coach/GM), then address the micro issues (player personnel). But that's just me.
UPDATE: Minutes after I put this blog post up, general manager Scott Howson added this to his Twitter feed...
We have decided to keep Ryan Johnasen [sic] through the 10 game threshhold which means the 1st year of his contract will apply to this season.On the merits: Johansen has done all that he's been allowed to do, and he's shown that he has the ability to contribute to the club.
In the bigger picture: I hope that the Blue Jackets have also closed the book on the speculation over Howson and Arniel for all the reasons stated above.