Thursday, September 13, 2012

John P. McConnell voted to lock out the NHL players

CBJ Majority Owner John P. McConnell
Well, either he did or his alternate governor, Mike Priest.  For NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman informs us that the Board of Governors voted unanimously to lock out the NHLPA's members.  Unanimous means everyone, which means that the Blue Jackets ownership voted for the lockout.

This is a Blue Jackets blog, so I'm not going to comment on the vote taken by the other 29 teams' owners.  I wouldn't pretend to understand their motivations.  I'll also admit that I'm not intimately familiar with the motivations of the Blue Jackets ownership, but I've pieced together a handful of reasons why a lockout in Columbus probably would hurt our community as bad as, if not worse than, any other NHL community.

Remember, the owners could have voted to skip the lockout, play the season under the expired collective bargaining agreement rules and keep negotiating with the players.  To a man, they voted not to do so.

I honestly don't know what to do with this development.

As a fan of the club, I feel betrayed.

As a fan of Columbus, Ohio, I'm downright scared about the future of NHL hockey in this town.  I hope that  my community can survive a second lockout in the team's first 12 years, but it seems like a stretch.

Hold on tight, everyone.


  1. as Owner I would not start the season without a new CBA.
    Players get paid during the season.
    Owners make money during the Post-season.
    If they went ahead and started the season then the players would get their salaries and then come March they could strike and scuttle the playoffs. This is what happened with Baseball under the leadership of Fehr.

    As much as it hurts team employees and such, I don't see how the owners could start a season without a CBA and the possibilty that the Players could strike at any time during the season.

  2. My money will never again go to John P. McConnell or Mike Priest. The organization is clueless.

    1. The expectations have been too low around here, and that goes not only for the players and coaches, but for management and everybody else. Scott Howson, April 2012

      Apparently the expectation to play hockey during hockey season is too high for this group.

      What sauce is appropriate to serve with roasted Golden Goose?

  3. Seriously, you didn't think he would vote against his fellow frat boys? We are a very small fish in the pond in the NHL. In fact, some owners say natural selection should remove us from the pond. And herein lies the problem of professional sports in Columbus. We are not the Buckeyes, who get cheers when they fart. We are an inept NHL team that loses money and is losing fans to match the losses on the ice. The future is not bright, even with the convention center agreement.

  4. Frankly, when the majority owner has been putting all of his dividens payments from Worthington Industries back into the team for the past 7 seasons, I'm not surprised he's voted for a lockout. Considering how substantial the taxation increase on capitial gains and dividens payment that happens on January 1st, not to mention the 3.8% mandatory surcharge rich people have to pay on investment income to fund Obamacare, there will be far fewer dollars for JP McConnell to put back into the Columbus Red Inkers, I mean Blue Jackets. Still, it's a shame he's voted for the lockout. He probably shouldn't show his face in the arena district restuarants much during the lockout. I would dig deeper into this Obama vs The Columbus Blue Jackets, but then your heads would likely explode. I call dibs on "Obama vs The Blue Jackets" blog post!

    1. Fire away, Morgan. We wear Big Boy Pants around these parts.

      On a related note, the notion that McConnell is financing the CBJ on the backs of his Worthington dividends is sobering. Speaks to how tenuous this whole enterprise is.

    2. Which illustrates the importance of having Nationwide Insurance as a significant minority partner. When there is a loss all the partners dig deep.

    3. Your comments sound a little political. I am sure he has a sustained a loss. Then again - he has decided to stay with his present management which indicates he doesn't see it as a major problem. Since we haven't seen his tax returns, we really don't know for sure that all of his dividend payments from Worthington Industries go to fund the Blue Jackets do we?

      I am disappointed that McConnell voted to support the lockout. I think the best interests of the community and his own investment in the Blue Jackets would have been better served by continuing to negotiate while playing. Negotiations and compromise are always the best way for both sides of any disagreement. Under a lockout everyone loses - especially Blue Jacket fans who have been very supportive of this team over the years, wouldn't you agree?