Friday, January 27, 2012

Why I won't Protest; Culpability

Hitch mingles with the intelligentsia at Training Camp
Ok, culpability is a strong word.  Let's be clear, I am not legally responsible for the performance of the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Let's just use 'responsibility' as a good synonym, but culpability reads better on a twitter feed.

The responsibility part is kind of hard for me.  The only move that Scott Howson made that I disagreed with at the time it was made was the firing of Coach Ken Hitchcock.  I didn't agree with it at the time, and I thought the reasons proffered (the game has passed him by) were weak.  I feel even more strongly about it in retrospect.  Essentially Hitch was fired because he didn't develop Filatov.  That's a heck of a note.

Other than that, I have generally pretty much agreed with Howson's moves (except Glencross for Tarnstrom, though Glencross wanted to be in western Canada). In hind sight, I disagree with a lot of Howson's moves.  The problem is that Howson never has hindsight to use as a tool when decision making.  He has it as a learning tool, which is something that JPM intimated in his letter today. We knew Howson was relatively inexperienced. What is his capacity for learning?

Because I generally agreed with Howson on most of his moves, I won't be protesting tomorrow.  (Disclosure, I don't have a lot going on, so I'll be down there because I care,  and I'll be in the role of staff photographer for this blog.  I also know and respect many of those who will be protesting, so I reserve the right to talk with them like they were regular folks.  But I won't be protesting).

Which brings me to the Cleveland Browns.

All you have to do is look north to the Cleveland Browns to see what happens if you keep blowing up your executive offices every 5 years.  You get a train wreck.  The CBJ brought in significant perspective with Craig Patrick.  Its time to see what that perspective does in the current context.  I felt that Howson bought himself some time by bringing in Patrick, and I think that is still true.  Most importantly, that's how I think ownership sees the situation.

The protesters point out that this is a results oriented business, and we are not seeing the results.  And that is true.  But I don't think the results are as far off as some think they are.

Blowing up the executive offices likely means a couple of more years of losing hockey.  Everyone should get their arms around that.  There are executives who tiptoe that mine field, but that is the exception, and not the rule.

If only we could get some truculence!



  1. All right, heck, I'll comment. the touble with Priest and Howson is that, well they are losers. They have taken a bad team and made it worse. I'm a guy who sits in front of my TV and watches the Blue Jackets in my BVDs. I said at the end of last season that the primary need for the Jackets is a top-line goalie. That proved to be correct, albeit they needed other things too. Remember, I'm sitting at home in my underwear casually watching the Jacket games. I'm not an alleged expert being paid to make the smart decisions.

    I'll say this; if they are going to fire some folks, they have to hire people who are actually better than those dismissed. So I'm not so much in firing front office personnel, as hiring BETTER front office personnel.

  2. I agree with you, Gallos. At the time of all the off season moves particularly this year, from where I was sitting, I didn't hear many complaints. I support people's right to protest, and I COMPLETELY understand everyone's frustration, but this situation both in genesis and in potential outcome bears some real thought first. We all want better hockey, but firing just these two? Well....I'm not convinced that is part of the solution. Yet.

  3. Excellent points, especially liked the comparison with the ever shifting Browns management. Go back to Oct. 1 and there was not a lot of grumbling about the off season. Yes, the d-men needed more work, bit only so much you can do in one off season. Yes, goaltending was a gamble. But Howson hedged his bets, notice the third string is what filling the number one role right now.

    Jim - Don't forget that the only success the team has ever seen was under Priest and Howson. Life under Doug M. was horrid. The team never got worse and never got better. It was bottom feeder with no expectations. People are mad this year because they have expectations. Raised expectations are good. Bring in more deep hockey talent minds for Howson to draw on, and see what happens.


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