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Blue Jackets Links

Give me a chaser of caffeine with a side of Tylenol, stat!

Monday, June 11, 2007
Ugh ... I feel like I have a hangover the size of China, complete with human rights violations to the tune of someone banging on my head with a pole. And I haven't even drank since New Years, either. Maybe it's just a case of the Mondays, in which case I can hopefully shake off this nagging "blah" feeling soon.

I'm going to keep this update short today, just because I have a bit of an apartment cleaning that needs taking care of, coupled with some grocery restocking, as well as the fact that I really need to get a new computer keyboard. This keyboard -- which I've had for 5 years now along with my computer -- is finally starting to fall apart, and it's become a task to try and use the space bar, which is in its death throes due to the spillage of orange juice on it the other morning. I swear, I'm normally not so clumsy!

GM candidates coming out of the woodwork
With Bob Murry withdrawing his name, the only real candidate for the Blue Jackets' GM job who is regularly brought up appears to be Oilers' assistant GM Scott Howson; but that doesn't mean that one or two other names haven't been thrown around as well, if only because it makes speculation prior to the draft all the more interesting.

Earlier today, as first linked to on Kukla's Korner, the Ottawa Sun came out with the rather surprising news that the other Murray, Ottawa Senators' coach Bryan Murray, had recently had his name brought up by the Jackets to possibly speak with. To say the least, his history sure is a long and winding one, when you consider he's had several prior GM stints all the way up to when he became the Senators' coach in 2004. From the Capitals, to the Red Wings, to the Panthers, right up to the Ducks, Murray is not lacking in any experience. Also interesting is that Murray apparently has some direct connections to Doug MacLean, due to his stint in Florida during their Stanley Cup Finals run in 1996.

But let's put some things in to perspective here; Murray's still under contract up until July 1st, for one, meaning that unless the Senators decide on a total lark to allow him to talk to the Jackets, he would not become the general manager -- if he even accepted the job -- until after the draft. Regardless of Mike Priest's comments about how he is in no rush to install a new GM before said draft, this still leaves the Jackets in a high risk situation, where if Murray decides at some point after the draft to re-sign with the Senators, and the Jackets were sitting on their hands waiting for his contract to expire, they've suddenly lost out on having another GM properly in place for the draft, such as Howsen.

Also, and this is just my own opinion here ... why would Murray want to leave such a perfect place in Ottawa, where he has the opportunity to finally win a Stanley Cup at some point before it's too late, for a team that most likely won't be seeing the playoffs for another two seasons? Murray's 64 years old, and has had to deal with the sting of losing three SCF series ... one with Florida, one with Anaheim, and now one with Ottawa. Ottawa is the only real opportunity he has at the moment to reverse this misfortune of his, and do so before he decides to retire.

Either way, it seems like a real long-shot.

Meanwhile, The Dispatch reported over the weekend that while the Jackets continued their search for a GM, one former Blue Jacket has rather eagerly and happily thrown his hat in to the ring: former coach Dave King.

Now, it's worth noting that Kinger has no GM experience in the NHL, but that doesn't mean that he's not an interesting person to consider, nor has he not had his opportunities to be a GM, either. As Aaron Portzline reports, for example, King was offered the position of GM of the Quebec Nordiques in the 90s (for you newer hockey fans, they're the Colorado Avalanche now), but turned it down because he preferred to coach at the time.

Where's King been lately? Not in the NHL, to say the least. He's been over in Europe and Russia, coaching different teams since his dismissal from the Jackets in 2003.

Although the Dispatch article cites a Blue Jackets' source who has nothing but high praise for King, and Michael Arace had even posted on his blog in the middle of May that bringing King back in some sort of capacity -- and even considering him for GM -- would be a sound idea, the organization has been very mum on any kind of thoughts or official comments about if Kinger is even being considered ... which leads me to believe he isn't.

Having arrived in Columbus a whole two years after King was fired, it's hard for me to really get a feel for how he may have been such an apparently great coach during those tough, early years as an expansion team coach. Many comments and thoughts on King that I read from other Jackets' fans seem to indicate that he was really loved, and he did everything he possibly could with nothing more than a mash-up of discarded players from other teams, and could have done even more had he not been fired by MacLean.

Does nostalgia play a role in this? Perhaps. Still, it wouldn't hurt to have him in for an interview, if he was able to get from Siberia to here as soon as possible.

And that's all I got for today. Now to find some Advil.






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Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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