|John Davidson addresses Season Ticket Holders|
And that's a huge thing, no doubt. But the thing that struck me the most, was his confidence that we would get better. And when he says 'we won't get out worked', you have to believe him. I guess the vibe that I got from this is that he has the 'weight' to carry that off. He is the unquestioned leader of hockey operations. And he sets the tone. I don't mean to disparage Scott Howson when I say that I just don't think that sounds the same coming from him. He could have said 'we won't get outworked', but in the wheeling, dealing, weighing of value life of a General Manager, I'm not sure it makes sense. I think the dynamics of the last few years would make it very difficult for Howson to make that kind of pronouncement. It just seems to carry more weight with Davidson, which perhaps it should. He's the President of Hockey Operations, and that title should have some oomph. He can tell Howson 'that dude doesn't seem to want to work as hard as we need him to, see what you can get'. Then Howson has to go make a deal. So yeah, I think we are gonna have a team that 'won't get outworked'. And that will sell in Columbus. It always has.
Frustrated fans at the protest last year had a common refrain that 'real change starts at the top'. The top has now been changed in a very emphatic way. John Davidson has great 'hockey' credentials. He is respected around the league. And he has been willing to tie his name to the notion that success is going to come in Columbus. And when you hear him talk, you know that is his expectation. Not his hope, his expectation. There will be 'curve balls' along the way. There always are.
It's easy to tell, whilst prowling the internet, when you see someone who simply has no clue what is happening in Columbus. They will glibly say that the organization is a candidate for contraction; close Columbus and the southern teams and move them to Canada where they will undoubtedly thrive, because they have looked at the won-loss record. It kind of makes me chuckle to myself. They just don't have a clue. But over the last year the front office has been strengthened like no other organization in the league, with the addition of Craig Patrick and John Davidson. Those types of moves don't have immediate paybacks, but as time goes on they will build momentum.
In addition, Mike Priest made significant moves to support the arena locally and keep the team from bleeding cash in the lockout. Clever work, identifying a new revenue stream, then getting the local and state movers and shakers to lend a hand to make the deal work. Keep in mind that the revenue to support the arena is not dependent upon events, that is just icing on the cake. So Columbus came into this year shrewdly prepared for the insanity of a lockout (SIGH! Expletive deleted!)
So when John Davidson says to me (and my STH sisters and brethren) 'We will win', I gotta believe him. It may take time, but for the first time in this franchise's life, we have someone who expects to win at the helm, and who knows how he wants to get there. And that, my friends, is something of significance.