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And with a flourish, the search is (finally?) over!

Thursday, June 14, 2007
To tell you the truth, after the Bob Murray situation, I considered simply disregarding the news yesterday evening/this morning that Oilers' Assistant GM Scott Howson has agreed to become the Blue Jackets' next general manager until it became officially official on Friday, when the press conference to introduce Howsen has been scheduled.

But I'll take my chances on this one. After all, lightning never strikes the same spot twice, right? ... right!?

So, let's run down the list of ye olde reactions, articles, and opinions around both the mainstream media and blogosphere first:

The general consensus?

Howson's a quiet yet hard-working guy who had notable role in both the blockbuster moves made by the Oilers last season in which disgruntled defenseman Chris Pronger went to Anaheim for a handful of picks (1st, conditional 1st, and 2008 2nd) and players/prospects Joffrey Lupul and Ladislav Smid, as well as the trade that sent Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders for a couple of prospects and a 1st round pick.

He's young, he's connected to coach Ken Hitchcock via a Kamloops connection back in the late 80s, he's well educated (he has a degree in law) and also was a hockey player in the NHL for a handful of games, as well as several seasons in the minors.

He's well-versed in the salary cap and how to handle negotiations of contracts in the "new NHL", and considering what he'll be stepping in to with at least a few bloated salaries and plenty of room to be had in the salary books once those vanish by next season, he'll have a great opportunity to show Columbus just how well he can manage this team.

It's hard to deny that what happened before with Bob Murray has most likely left a bitter taste in many fan's mouths, especially now that Murray is back in Anaheim sipping from the Stanley Cup. But I'm not about to hold that against Howson, who will definitely be doing his best to steer this ship in the right direction. I don't expect an immediate, 180 degree turn by this coming season, either. Right now, Howson's boxed in to a corner by many of Doug MacLean's trades and contract/salary decisions over the past few years, meaning there's only so much that he can do at the moment. Once large contracts given to Sergei Fedorov and Adam Foote, for example, are done and over with, we can hopefully see what he can do.

Until then, it's a matter of patience, and also seeing what he can do with the limited team salary he'll have to play with this off-season, coupled with any influence he may have on Columbus' draft picks, irregardless of whether or not the current front office has already started setting a course for who they'd like to pick in this year's draft.

With that, I'm out for the day.

Edit: Oh, and one more thing ...

Stay classy, Columbus Dispatch. Stay classy.

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  • At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    I don't know why the Dispatch finds it necessary to encourage the Buckeye douchebag faction by including the hockey bashing option in every single poll related to the Jackets?

    And what's with these people anyway? No one's insisting they stop following the Buckeyes and start following the Jackets exclusively. And how on earth is the presence of the Jackets somehow limiting their ability to eat, breathe and sleep OSU football 24/7/52?

    I follow OSU sports to a degree and I've become somewhat of an OSU fan, but whenever these polls come out, I'm reminded of just why so many people hate OSU fans so deeply...

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