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The (heavily moderated) Fire Howson/Priest thread.

View Poll Results: Which of the following would you approve as owner?
Fire Priest/Howson immediately 60 58.25%
Fire Howson immediately/retain Priest for the next year 5 4.85%
Fire Priest immediately/retain Howson for the next year 29 28.16%
Something else 9 8.74%
Voters: 103. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
04-12-2012, 12:05 PM
  #1
Samkow
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The (heavily moderated) Fire Howson/Priest thread.

Forgot I packed my lunch today so I'm back early...

Alright guys, time for a new approach regarding these threads. No matter what side you're on, I think we can all agree that these threads have sucked to this point.

In this thread, you will be thread banned at first offense. No exceptions.

Some this that will get you booted from the thread that occurred in the last thread...

-Arguing over spelling.
-The ridiculous slap fights over semantics.
-This weird mentality that some of you have that you want to see people "make a convincing argument to fire/keep Howson." Reread the definition of flaming listed in the site rules. That's literally the first example given.
RESPONDING PUBLICLY TO THIS POST. If you don't like the modding, you can certainly call us *******s/commend us, so long as you do so through private message.

Sorry to have to put on my big, bad mod costume but I want to leave some form of this open.

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04-12-2012, 12:44 PM
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CapnCornelius
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I'd be interested to see a Howson/Priest poll with cross tabs. I suspect that some of the people supporting Howson don't support Priest, who somehow managed to escape the wrath of the last thread.

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04-12-2012, 12:45 PM
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What options do you want?

Post them and I'll add a poll.

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04-12-2012, 12:50 PM
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CapnCornelius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samkow View Post
What options do you want?

Post them and I'll add a poll.
Make it interesting. Go with MB's idea:

Which of the following would you approve as owner?

1. Fire Howson/Priest Immediately
2. Fire Howson Immediately/Retain Priest for the next year
3. Fire Priest Immediately/Retain Howson for the next year
4. Something else

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04-12-2012, 12:54 PM
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poll

Okay, added

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04-12-2012, 01:00 PM
  #6
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His last shot

I just felt like I had to come on here and say this..personally, I feel for the guy. He really is trying what he can to make this a great hockey team. There are other GM's going through this right now (Brian Burke), and Howson has done what he can to shake things up. Yes they have had a history of bad drafting, but that isn't all the GM's fault. He made a coaching change, realized that Carter wasn't going to be the fit for this club and acquired a great D man in Johnson and the Kings first round pick. We are picking second overall, and have the whole Nash deal in play if we decide to try and grab another pick. (I'm not getting into that). So I guess I would like to see him stay for another year, this is his last shot to make the right choices. As a passionate Jackets fan I support the GM and carry the flag forward with my team. After all, what am I going to do about it? Lets turn this negative into a positive. I say keep him for this summer and season. Its his last shot.

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04-12-2012, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Cfriss216 View Post
I just felt like I had to come on here and say this..personally, I feel for the guy. He really is trying what he can to make this a great hockey team. There are other GM's going through this right now (Brian Burke), and Howson has done what he can to shake things up. Yes they have had a history of bad drafting, but that isn't all the GM's fault. He made a coaching change, realized that Carter wasn't going to be the fit for this club and acquired a great D man in Johnson and the Kings first round pick. We are picking second overall, and have the whole Nash deal in play if we decide to try and grab another pick. (I'm not getting into that). So I guess I would like to see him stay for another year, this is his last shot to make the right choices. As a passionate Jackets fan I support the GM and carry the flag forward with my team. After all, what am I going to do about it? Lets turn this negative into a positive. I say keep him for this summer and season. Its his last shot.
Is that...is that the middle ground?

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04-12-2012, 01:25 PM
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CapnCornelius
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Originally Posted by Cfriss216 View Post
As a passionate Jackets fan I support the GM and carry the flag forward with my team. After all, what am I going to do about it? Lets turn this negative into a positive. I say keep him for this summer and season. Its his last shot.
I'm not sure if this is what you are getting at, but I've seen some folks in ACA try and suggest that somehow you aren't a supportive fan if you think we need a change in management. I don't agree with this line of thinking. I root for the Columbus Blue Jackets--a collection of guys that at any moment wear whatever crest we are using for that season. I want that team to do its best. Which is why, as a passionate and supportive fan, I want to see a better management team in place, who can put the best team possible in the team's sweaters.

You are entitled to your view and I am entitled to mine with respect to Howson. But let's not start injecting this "tr00 fan" debate into the proceedings.

With that out of the way, my concern is that we've already lost a portion of our fanbase because of mismanagement and that giving another year to this management team will further alienate some fans who are on the fence. There have been some absolutely heartbreaking stories from long-time Season Ticket Holders that have been shared with us via F.A.N.S. Are those people lesser fans because they can't continue to justify supporting this team financially when their perceived enjoyment has plummeted? We're talking in many cases about people who were Day 1 season ticket holders here in some cases.

I'm worried about what message status quo sends to those folks after finishing dead last. And that's to say nothing of casual fans, which are virtually non-existent at this point.

Because, as much as I do root for the team wearing the sweater, what I'm really rooting for at this point is something better for my fellow fans who have suffered long enough.

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04-12-2012, 01:26 PM
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I don't know if this falls into the bad debate zone, but it seems the point of these threads becomes less and less relevant with every passing day.

If they haven't been fired yet, does anyone think they'll really be fired in the near future? What can happen between now and the start of next season that is going to cost one or either man their jobs?

For the sake of the poll, I opted for "something else" which is a scenario that involves inventing a time machine and going back to the days after the trade deadline and pulling the plug then.

A coach already is needed. With every day that passes, the prospect of firing and hiring a new president and a new GM on top of that becomes both increasingly unrealistic and increasingly complex.

It goes without saying this is a very important offseason. There is the Nash situation obviously, but now we have a draft where we went from having a no-brainer choice that anyone could make to actually having to make a decision, not to mention the prospect of using other picks in trades to help the immediate roster.
There are a couple of levers that certainly will be pulled and even more that could be pulled.

The braintrust needed to make these decisions needed be in place YESTERDAY so they can hit the ground running on this.

Of course, I think we all realize the braintrust was in place yesterday.

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04-12-2012, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Make it interesting. Go with MB's idea:

Which of the following would you approve as owner?

1. Fire Howson/Priest Immediately
2. Fire Howson Immediately/Retain Priest for the next year
3. Fire Priest Immediately/Retain Howson for the next year
4. Something else
I voted to fire both immediately, but in hindsight, Priest did get us an all-star game/new arena lease. I think that's good enough for another year.

Does Howson deserve to get fired? Absolutely. Will I be that upset if he doesn't get fired? Nope. Just my personal belief that bad luck was a significant factor this year.

I will say this though. The Howson method we saw up until this season (lock up your guys to extensions, build through the draft) is the best method to build a winner in Columbus. The reason the Howson method failed is because Howson isn't the greatest at spotting talent.

And as an aside, for anybody who thinks that Maclean>>>Howson

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=566258

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Quote:
Best first-round pick: Rick Nash (2002) -- The Jackets knew what they were doing when they chose Nash with the draft's first pick. Despite playing on a team that has struggled to score, Nash has 259 goals in eight seasons, including 32 in 2010-11. He was named team captain in March 2008, and he had 40 goals and a career-best 79 points in 2008-09 to lead the Jackets to their first playoff berth.
Honorable mention: Rostislav Klesla (2000), Pascal Leclaire (2001), Nikolai Zherdev (2003)

Best pick, rounds 2-4: Dan Fritsche (2003) -- Columbus has had little success drafting after the first round -- as evidenced by the choice of Fritsche, a hard-working Ohio native who had 29 goals in parts of four seasons with Columbus before being traded to the New York Rangers during the summer of 2008, and to Minnesota during the 2008-09 season.
Honorable mention: Petteri Nummelin (2000), Lasse Pirjeta (2002)

Best later-round pick: Marc Methot (2003) -- Expansion teams need to find late-round gems, but the Blue Jackets have failed in this area. Among the few later-round players to see any kind of substantial playing time is Methot, a sixth-rounder who didn't become an NHL regular until 2008-09. He has 6 goals and 40 points in 200 games over the last three seasons, after playing just 29 games the two previous seasons.
Honorable mention: Petteri Nummelin (2000), Lasse Pirjeta (2002)

Biggest disappointment: Alexandre Picard (2004) -- The Jackets finally gave up hope Picard, the eighth pick in the draft, would show the kind of scoring touch he had in junior hockey (39 and 40 goals in his last two seasons). In 67 games spread over five seasons, he never scored a goal. He was dealt to Phoenix at the trade deadline in 2010 but finished the season in the minor leagues. Picard will turn 26 in early October, spent all of 2010-11 in the AHL, and his window of opportunity for an NHL career is almost closed.
Honorable Mention: Gilbert Brule (2005)
When Nikolai Zherdev, Rostislav Klesla, Petteri Numelin, Lassse Prijeta and Pascal Leclaire are your honorabe mentions, something has gone horrible wrong. Not to mention that he selected Nummelin and Prijeta twice. .

Howson's late round picks are already better than Maclean. No contest.

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04-12-2012, 01:33 PM
  #11
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Not to mention that he selected Nummelin and Prijeta twice. .
Hellz yeah he did.

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04-12-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe View Post
What can happen between now and the start of next season that is going to cost one or either man their jobs?
John P. McConnell finally realizes what a disaster he has on his hands and acts.

I'm starting to get concerned the time machine idea is more likely.

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04-12-2012, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
I'm not sure if this is what you are getting at, but I've seen some folks in ACA try and suggest that somehow you aren't a supportive fan if you think we need a change in management. I don't agree with this line of thinking. I root for the Columbus Blue Jackets--a collection of guys that at any moment wear whatever crest we are using for that season. I want that team to do its best. Which is why, as a passionate and supportive fan, I want to see a better management team in place, who can put the best team possible in the team's sweaters.

You are entitled to your view and I am entitled to mine with respect to Howson. But let's not start injecting this "tr00 fan" debate into the proceedings.
I don't see this as being the case at all. I see a centrist viewpoint that says that one single additional year is reasonable for a variety of reasons.

As far as "sending messages", winning games will send messages. People were staying away in droves during the 2008-09 season, then when it hit January and the team was still hanging around the top 8 in the conference, there began a string of sellouts that lasted all the way into the postseason. That was in Howson's second year, when he still had a good chunk of the team that was still carried over from MacLean.

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04-12-2012, 01:50 PM
  #14
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Originally Posted by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe View Post
I don't know if this falls into the bad debate zone, but it seems the point of these threads becomes less and less relevant with every passing day.

If they haven't been fired yet, does anyone think they'll really be fired in the near future? What can happen between now and the start of next season that is going to cost one or either man their jobs?

For the sake of the poll, I opted for "something else" which is a scenario that involves inventing a time machine and going back to the days after the trade deadline and pulling the plug then.

A coach already is needed. With every day that passes, the prospect of firing and hiring a new president and a new GM on top of that becomes both increasingly unrealistic and increasingly complex.

It goes without saying this is a very important offseason. There is the Nash situation obviously, but now we have a draft where we went from having a no-brainer choice that anyone could make to actually having to make a decision, not to mention the prospect of using other picks in trades to help the immediate roster.
There are a couple of levers that certainly will be pulled and even more that could be pulled.

The braintrust needed to make these decisions needed be in place YESTERDAY so they can hit the ground running on this.

Of course, I think we all realize the braintrust was in place yesterday.
Welcome to the discussion, Kallio, and thanks for saving me from having to try to articulate my feelings on this topic. I, like CapCorn, think it would take a radical awakening by JrMac to set any change in motion at this late date, and like both you and him, see that as very unlikely. The best I can realistically hope for is a dynamic new coach behind the bench. Did I say "realistically"? More like wishfully!

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04-12-2012, 01:59 PM
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I love the tone of "middle ground!". It's a loaded term which frames the debate into: A reasonable person sees that there are two sides to every issue and each is valid. So, in the case on GMSH, the reasonable person will give GMSH more time to finish what he has started. It's a ......(self moderated) way of looking at the bad ship Blue Jacket and the reality of the putrid reign of Scott Howson.

The "middle ground" was reached with the NHLs worst GM when he wasn't released after last season. Continued employment after consecutive last place finishes in the division would constitute bending over backwards for any other GM in the league; Howson has been accorded that and more. The results of giving this guy "just one more chance" was-yet another- last place finish.

A third season (last) of downward trending under any GM wouldn't have even been a possibility with any other team. It is completely inconceivable , that this GM wouldn't have been at the table for "the lottery". A pink slip would have issued on the day following the season's conclusion.

Does anyone know what the full season ticket equivalent base was when Howson was hired compared to what it is now? The probable steep decline in that would cause most ownerships to clean house independent of winning/losing record. The Jackets ownership just goes running to the welfare office.

The Jackets have to rank near the bottom of the NHL in season tickets, total revenues and merchandising sales. They are the worst on ice organization in the league hands down. One look at the sorry top 6 forward roster on this team and it's not fathomable how a GM could be entering his 6th season on the job. Not in any rational organization anyway.

Just stay the course. It's the "middle ground" solution.

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04-12-2012, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by pete goegan View Post
Welcome to the discussion, Kallio, and thanks for saving me from having to try to articulate my feelings on this topic. I, like CapCorn, think it would take a radical awakening by JrMac to set any change in motion at this late date, and like both you and him, see that as very unlikely. The best I can realistically hope for is a dynamic new coach behind the bench. Did I say "realistically"? More like wishfully!
There is part of me -- I donít know if it is naive or wishful thinking or logical or whatever people want to label it -- but there is part of me that honestly thinks a goaltending upgrade, though not a cure for all that ailed this team will be a big step. Not a playoff caliber step, but certainly a not-the-worst-team-in-the-league step.

Thatís independent of the coach hire and whether or not Howson and Priest maintain their jobs.

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04-12-2012, 02:08 PM
  #17
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I love the tone of "middle ground!". It's a loaded term which frames the debate into: A reasonable person sees that there are two sides to every issue and each is valid.
But that is exactly the truth. Middle ground, or whatever you want to call it, does recognize value in opposing positions, and that there are clear and defensible reasons to hold any of them, even if they are in disagreement with our own. It's this really cool new thing.

Now, whether or not the position referred to - in the post and quoted above - is actually "middle ground" is debatable. It's certainly somewhere in between "fire him yesterday!" and "he's doing great!"

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04-12-2012, 02:10 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclones Rock View Post
I love the tone of "middle ground!". It's a loaded term which frames the debate into: A reasonable person sees that there are two sides to every issue and each is valid. So, in the case on GMSH, the reasonable person will give GMSH more time to finish what he has started. It's a ......(self moderated) way of looking at the bad ship Blue Jacket and the reality of the putrid reign of Scott Howson.

The "middle ground" was reached with the NHLs worst GM when he wasn't released after last season. Continued employment after consecutive last place finishes in the division would constitute bending over backwards for any other GM in the league; Howson has been accorded that and more. The results of giving this guy "just one more chance" was-yet another- last place finish.

A third season (last) of downward trending under any GM wouldn't have even been a possibility with any other team. It is completely inconceivable , that this GM wouldn't have been at the table for "the lottery". A pink slip would have issued on the day following the season's conclusion.

Does anyone know what the full season ticket equivalent base was when Howson was hired compared to what it is now? The probable steep decline in that would cause most ownerships to clean house independent of winning/losing record. The Jackets ownership just goes running to the welfare office.

The Jackets have to rank near the bottom of the NHL in season tickets, total revenues and merchandising sales. They are the worst on ice organization in the league hands down. One look at the sorry top 6 forward roster on this team and it's not fathomable how a GM could be entering his 6th season on the job. Not in any rational organization anyway.

Just stay the course. It's the "middle ground" solution.
Are we the decision makers? Are the fans the one employing Howson and Priest? Or is your point meant for McConnell himself?

What you denigrate as middle ground, in this case, I see as acknowledging the reality of the situation.
Don't confuse acknowledging the reality with accepting that reality.

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04-12-2012, 02:15 PM
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To follow upon Capn thoughts, my response is what I hinted at in the other thread and stated before. Best case.

Priest resigns, Patrick assumes the role or handles the interviewing. Howson is then under the microscope of the replacement.

Priest saves face and is a logical progression.

Beyond that, we can say our opinion on whether he/they should be retained. However, it doesn't appear to have the least bit of influence in the org.

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04-12-2012, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
I don't see this as being the case at all. I see a centrist viewpoint that says that one single additional year is reasonable for a variety of reasons.

As far as "sending messages", winning games will send messages. People were staying away in droves during the 2008-09 season, then when it hit January and the team was still hanging around the top 8 in the conference, there began a string of sellouts that lasted all the way into the postseason. That was in Howson's second year, when he still had a good chunk of the team that was still carried over from MacLean.
I don't believe this team is capable of winning those games next year. And neither does Howson. That is why another year means nothing--this is a rebuild. That is why Nash decided to ask for a trade. He didn't ask for a trade because "the plan" was to try to make the playoffs in 2012-13.

The 2008-09 season was different because there had been a recent regime change and people could believe the team would turn it around because they could view it as a sign the change worked. The Jackets could string together early season wins this next year and not see any effect at the box office because people are leary of this group and will view it as a mirage.

At some point fans see ownership as neglectful of them and tune out. We both know about Dollar Bill in Chicago and how that played out.

I see a situation that can be made worse by Howson staying and moreso if what he's told is that he must make the playoffs. Suddenly it is all in for next season. The long-term future of this franchise is neglected for him to sustain his job. At what cost?

We're at a point with the Nash trade, the #2 pick and a coaching vacancy that makes sense to change course to avoid that sort of short-sighted decisions your "one more year" would promote.

In other words, "one more year" may be centrist between "fire them all" and "keep 'em forever" but isn't reasonable.

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04-12-2012, 02:54 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe View Post
Are we the decision makers? Are the fans the one employing Howson and Priest? Or is your point meant for McConnell himself?

What you denigrate as middle ground, in this case, I see as acknowledging the reality of the situation.
Don't confuse acknowledging the reality with accepting that reality.
It's a message board. Last time I looked anyway. Just offering my views. If McConnell would like a personal audience, then I'd have to check my schedule

My post explained why I don't think it's "acknowledging the reality of the situation." I'm not confused about it.

The reality is: 1) The Columbus Blue Jackets are an NHL franchise
2) Would any of the other 29 franchises still retain a management team (Priest and Howson) with their long established track records?
3) Do the Columbus Blue Jackets have a history which would suggest that their model and decision making processes are sound-and that they should employ an entirely different method of evaluating GMs and Team Presidents?

To these points:

1) Well....they do have franchise rights. Any other similarities with other NHL franchises could be viewed as coincidental.

2) Only if there was a strong personal connection between the ownership and the Team President and or GM. Job performance would rank a distant second to personal considerations.

3) No need to comment

A "middle ground" has to be viewed within the context of how other NHL franchises operate; not a feel good ("oh look at me and how fair-minded I am"-not saying this is your position) afternoon talk show perspective. The retention of Howson/Priest would not be viewed as "middle ground" in its proper perspective. The time frame for that viewpoint is a distant view in the rear view mirror.

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04-12-2012, 03:04 PM
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In other words, "one more year" may be centrist
What happens when it's next year? One more year? After all that will sound reasonable at the time it's uttered. When do you say we've been patient enough? You can't tell a GM, "You've got one more year", that leads to poor moves as you suggested.

I am not longer sure I understand what the requirements are for a GM to retain his job, nor do I understand how long is reasonable for a GM to fix issues created by another GM.

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04-12-2012, 03:32 PM
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I voted to fire both of them. Shouldn't the team be ashamed at the product put on the ice this year? It was an absolute embarrassment. They need to go in another direction, I would prefer to see both fired. If Priest pushed for Carter, that is reason enough to fire him. The product on the ice is reason enough to fire Howson.

However, if this doesn't happen, I would certainly hope the organization brings in heavy weight front office talent to then add to mix: call it is St. Louis model. Davidson, Pleau, etc. ( I forget who else is in their front office). If they bring in more knowledgable people in the front office to support Howson, then I would feel better about going forward.

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04-12-2012, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by blahblah View Post
What happens when it's next year? One more year? After all that will sound reasonable at the time it's uttered. When do you say we've been patient enough? You can't tell a GM, "You've got one more year", that leads to poor moves as you suggested.

I am not longer sure I understand what the requirements are for a GM to retain his job, nor do I understand how long is reasonable for a GM to fix issues created by another GM.
Five years is long enough in most instances. If Brian Burke can't turn things around in Toronto next year, he'll be gone. Why is it different here?

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04-12-2012, 04:19 PM
  #25
KallioWeHardlyKnewYe
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Originally Posted by Cyclones Rock View Post
It's a message board. Last time I looked anyway. Just offering my views. If McConnell would like a personal audience, then I'd have to check my schedule

My post explained why I don't think it's "acknowledging the reality of the situation." I'm not confused about it.

The reality is: 1) The Columbus Blue Jackets are an NHL franchise
2) Would any of the other 29 franchises still retain a management team (Priest and Howson) with their long established track records?
3) Do the Columbus Blue Jackets have a history which would suggest that their model and decision making processes are sound-and that they should employ an entirely different method of evaluating GMs and Team Presidents?

To these points:

1) Well....they do have franchise rights. Any other similarities with other NHL franchises could be viewed as coincidental.

2) Only if there was a strong personal connection between the ownership and the Team President and or GM. Job performance would rank a distant second to personal considerations.

3) No need to comment

A "middle ground" has to be viewed within the context of how other NHL franchises operate; not a feel good ("oh look at me and how fair-minded I am"-not saying this is your position) afternoon talk show perspective. The retention of Howson/Priest would not be viewed as "middle ground" in its proper perspective. The time frame for that viewpoint is a distant view in the rear view mirror.
This is my struggle -- though I'm in favor of firings, it sure as heck doesn't seem like it is coming.

We can shout and type about draft results, UFA failures, blown trades, whatever and it just feels fairly meaningless at this point.

We can point to how other organizations operate and what other owners/fan bases will and won't stand for.

And none of that really feels like it matters.

Howson and Priest are keeping their jobs.

We either accept that and hope that through luck or skill or the magical mystery presence of Craig Patrick or whatever that this team improves to an acceptable level ... or I suppose we continue pissing into the wind on this issue.

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