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01-27-2012, 08:42 AM
  #1
1857 Howitzer
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JPM letter to fans

I know this was posted in the protest thread, but I think it should have its own.

"My father held a longstanding belief that a major league sports franchise would prove an important catalyst in the growth and development of Columbus. After more than 30 years of effort, the opportunity to make his belief reality presented itself with the NHL awarding a franchise to Columbus in 1997. To my mind, it is clear he was right in his vision. With the Blue Jackets and the Arena as the anchor, Nationwide Insurance has brought vibrancy to our downtown in the Arena District that simply wouldn't have happened without the team.

That said, there is no question our on-ice performance is nowhere near what it needs to be. All of you are disappointed and many are angry. I and the entire Blue Jackets organization share these feelings. I thought as we approached mid-season at the All-Star break, it would be a good time to reflect on where we've been and offer some thoughts about how we go forward. We have taken actions and will continue our push to improve.

Toward the end of last season, we did a thorough evaluation of our team's strengths and weaknesses. From there, a plan was developed balancing our needs against our tradable assets. During the summer, we believed we executed the plan well and took a good step forward. Most people seemed to agree and we were excited for the season to start.

Unfortunately and surprisingly, we opened the season terribly and have struggled ever since. Disappointing is not a strong enough word.

We began looking at why our team was not performing at an acceptable level very early this season and assessing where we are and where we want to go. We added Craig Patrick, an experienced and highly respected figure in the hockey community, as a senior advisor to assist in this endeavor. While this process is not complete, we have clearly defined our options and are finalizing our plans.

I understand you want to know what we're going to do to fix this, but it is important for us to maintain a degree of discretion to prevent putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage. I can tell you action will be taken in the coming weeks and months, be it around the trade deadline, the entry draft and/or free agency that will be indicative of our direction.

Our goal as an organization is to build a team that wins consistently and competes for the Stanley Cup. Anything less is unacceptable! Everything we do in the coming weeks, months and years will be done to that end and everyone in our organization - myself, management, staff, coaches and players - will be held to that standard.

I am very thankful and appreciative of the dedication and passion you have shown as a Blue Jackets fan and I am committed to giving you a team of which you can be proud.

Sincerely,

John P. McConnell "

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01-27-2012, 09:25 AM
  #2
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Thanks for sharing that on the main board, as people like myself don't often venture into the general complaint threads. And, being so far west, I don't see things like this without them being on here.

Hopefully, JPM and the rest of the guys at the top follow through with whatever plan this is. Getting behind Craig Patrick is a good start.

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01-27-2012, 09:48 AM
  #3
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A pre-emptive strike on Saturday's protest. The letter certainly makes it sound like Howson and Priest are safe.

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01-27-2012, 09:57 AM
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Napalm for the fire

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01-27-2012, 10:02 AM
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1857 Howitzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post
A pre-emptive strike on Saturday's protest. The letter certainly makes it sound like Howson and Priest are safe.
Its not like he can come out and say that there will be people fired.

Depending on how you want to read it you could read this as anything from trades, signings or firings.

Quote:
I understand you want to know what we're going to do to fix this, but it is important for us to maintain a degree of discretion to prevent putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage. I can tell you action will be taken in the coming weeks and months, be it around the trade deadline, the entry draft and/or free agency that will be indicative of our direction.
But really who knows whats going to happen.

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01-27-2012, 10:03 AM
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Look, I'm glad we have an NHL team.... I am.

Thats not the argument. The argument is having a team we all can be proud of....

That said, JP's letter is ill-timed to say the least. It reads like a defense of failure, to me. I highly doubt this stops anyone from attending the protest, and may, in fact, rally some fringe fans to the cause.

He addresses the organizational review that he still staunchly defends they did, however, the recent activity with news that Carter is already available blows this defense out of the water. There "review" and subsequent plan has led to the CBJ now, apparently, willing to move a huge piece they just acquired, to, supposedly, help with this new plan.

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01-27-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post
A pre-emptive strike on Saturday's protest. The letter certainly makes it sound like Howson and Priest are safe.
Agree, five years with Priest and Howson and a top 10 payroll hasn't produced a winner; on what basis does he think more time with them will?

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01-27-2012, 10:05 AM
  #8
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Originally Posted by 1857 Howitzer View Post
I
But really who knows whats going to happen.
Um, pretty much everyone around here. Duh.

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01-27-2012, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Double-Shift Lassť View Post
Um, pretty much everyone around here. Duh.
Yep. Here how it goes down:
1. Howson and Priest are still employed.
2. Mason is waived.
3. Carter is offered, but there are no takers.
4. Vermette is traded, maybe Umberger too.
5. Our UFAs are traded for picks.
6. We acquire a young goaltender with little or no experience as a #1
7. If we're feeling REALLY extreme, we'll fire the coach in Springfield.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

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01-27-2012, 10:11 AM
  #10
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Um, pretty much everyone around here. Duh.
Uncharted waters... Not even going to joke about the mobs tendency to over react to every piece of news.

No one knows what is going to happen, hell JPM probably doesn't. Having said that, he's not giving the impression he understands and acknowledges what the fans are going to be protesting on Saturday. Even if he doesn't agree with it, he should have no confusion on why Priest is under attack.

I would eventually love to have a very small group represent us with a concise message and get a brief meeting with JPM (shouldn't take anymore than 5-10 minutes). That way there is no confusion on what the issue(s) are. From there, we've done our part.

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01-27-2012, 10:27 AM
  #11
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Here's the solution (short of selling the team):
They brought in Patrick to serve as a senior advisor to Howson. It's MACCONNELL that needs the senior advisor because he knows NOTHING about how to structure and run a successful major league sports organization. JP is at the mercy of his GM, who will say whatever he needs to for keeping his job another year - not what's in the LONG-TERM best interests of the franchise. MacConnell needs to hire Mark Cuban as a consultant.

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01-27-2012, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Double-Shift Lassť View Post
Um, pretty much everyone around here. Duh.
True sorry.

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01-27-2012, 10:31 AM
  #13
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This letter coupled with his interview with Portzline tells me the needed changes will not be made. JPM really is blind, clueless, or both. They will trade Carter, trade/waive Mason, and trade the pending UFA's. Howson and Priest will still be here next season which will lead to another lost season.

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01-27-2012, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by blahblah View Post

No one knows what is going to happen, hell JPM probably doesn't. Having said that, he's not giving the impression he understands and acknowledges what the fans are going to be protesting on Saturday. Even if he doesn't agree with it, he should have no confusion on why Priest is under attack.
I think that's fair to say and hopefully after Saturday you guys make it known 100% that the protest is about getting rid of Priest.

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01-27-2012, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by leesmith View Post
MacConnell needs to sell to Mark Cuban.
Fixed.

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01-27-2012, 10:33 AM
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I still think most of what we want will occur, even if it isn't in the way we expect or as quickly as we'd hope (meaning next week).

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01-27-2012, 10:38 AM
  #17
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I still think most of what we want will occur, even if it isn't in the way we expect or as quickly as we'd hope (meaning next week).
I've thought that for 11 years now. Wake up and smell the "hot liquids." The way this business is being run is devoid of all basic principles in running a successful business. Nothing changes until that gets fixed.

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01-27-2012, 10:44 AM
  #18
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I'm as unhappy as anyone about the situation. I'd like Howson replaced, and Priest either terminated, reassigned to another business or moved into the CFO role with no input into hockey operations. I'd like them to do whatever is needed to build a top tier scouting operation, both amateur and professional.

I don't know what McConnell can do in a letter. He wanted to reach out because we as a fanbase are furious and he knows it. What would you expect him to say?

Mac has tried to make the team competitive, he and his people hired the wrong GM. He trusted this mistaken hire to have the answers. He has consistently forked over the money his GM asked of him to make the team better. The manager Mac mistakenly trusted hired the wrong coach, seems to have ignored the problem in scouting or exacerbated it. He apparently has had carte blanche since his hire to bring in senior people with solid hockey backgrounds, but didn't. As Portzline pointed out, the GM seems to have wanted to "give chances" to people with little or no experience, like the coaching staff with no NHL coaching experience last year.

McConnell's huge mistake is completely trusting a GM who has a different style than his predecessor, but the same fatal flaw. Howson's decisions show he always thinks he's the smartest guy in the room, just like Doug MacLean.

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01-27-2012, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by leek View Post
I'm as unhappy as anyone about the situation. I'd like Howson replaced, and Priest either terminated, reassigned to another business or moved into the CFO role with no input into hockey operations. I'd like them to do whatever is needed to build a top tier scouting operation, both amateur and professional.

I don't know what McConnell can do in a letter. He wanted to reach out because we as a fanbase are furious and he knows it. What would you expect him to say?

Mac has tried to make the team competitive, he and his people hired the wrong GM. He trusted this mistaken hire to have the answers. He has consistently forked over the money his GM asked of him to make the team better. The manager Mac mistakenly trusted hired the wrong coach, seems to have ignored the problem in scouting or exacerbated it. He apparently has had carte blanche since his hire to bring in senior people with solid hockey backgrounds, but didn't. As Portzline pointed out, the GM seems to have wanted to "give chances" to people with little or no experience, like the coaching staff with no NHL coaching experience last year.

McConnell's huge mistake is completely trusting a GM who has a different style than his predecessor, but the same fatal flaw. Howson's decisions show he always thinks he's the smartest guy in the room, just like Doug MacLean.
I do think that one glaring fault of both JHM and JPM is they have been too trusting of the men they hire.

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01-27-2012, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by leek View Post
McConnell's huge mistake is completely trusting a GM who has a different style than his predecessor, but the same fatal flaw. Howson's decisions show he always thinks he's the smartest guy in the room, just like Doug MacLean.
Interesting thought, very nice insight.

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01-27-2012, 11:50 AM
  #21
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Being an optimist (yea, I know) I see the letter as an acknowledgement that ownership is at least saying "we know you're upset".

Perhaps they don't grasp the full message (yet), but they at least see that the fans have issues with the way things are being handled.

Whether that affects anything, who knows? I think a few posters have a better grasp on what is happening behind the scenes (but can't really share). The rest of us can only go by what we see. Just because nothing has been done, doesn't mean nothing is being done, or nothing will ever be done.

This isn't a call for patience, just be willing to recognize what power (or lack of it) we as fans really have.

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01-27-2012, 11:51 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leek View Post
McConnell's huge mistake is completely trusting a GM who has a different style than his predecessor, but the same fatal flaw. Howson's decisions show he always thinks he's the smartest guy in the room, just like Doug MacLean.
Yes, but between taking Hitch out of the mix the hiring of Patrick, he probably was the smartest hockey mind in the room... and this is why we will be scouting the top 2-3 players in next year's draft.

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01-27-2012, 12:20 PM
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Yet another letter of apology to the fans.

Btw: somebody clue me in WHY ppl are so down on Jeff Gonna be Awesome Carter.

(Posting this from San Juan PR, the island of beautiful young women.)

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01-27-2012, 12:41 PM
  #24
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Yet another letter of apology to the fans.

Btw: somebody clue me in WHY ppl are so down on Jeff Gonna be Awesome Carter.

(Posting this from San Juan PR, the island of beautiful young women.)
People are down on Carter because they believe he is demanding a trade, which means he doesn't love the CBJ or the fans.

I have a different theory about the rumors that he is on the market. Here's what I have friend:

Jackets management/ownership realizes that acquiring the long awaited savior #1 center was probably a misuse of assets. I know at the time I did not want them to make this deal, and I am a fan of Carter's play and skills. I was hoping the team would truly build from the net out by getting a goalie and some defensive talent. Wiz is a nice PPQB/ 2nd pairing blueliner, but not the answer. I think the light went on and they realized with a bidding war at the trade deadline, they could get a solid young defenseman and a good goalie prospect, maybe even more for Carter. On the mainboard, Nashville fans seem to think a deal sending Lindback, Blum and Nashville's 1st pick for Carter is an acceptable deal. Buffalo fans like Sekera, Enroth, Buffalo's 2nd and 4th round picks for Carter. If trades like that are possible, they could make this team much much better almost immediately.

Could it be they just want to convert an asset into more needed assets?

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01-27-2012, 12:54 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leek View Post
People are down on Carter because they believe he is demanding a trade, which means he doesn't love the CBJ or the fans.

I have a different theory about the rumors that he is on the market. Here's what I have friend:

Jackets management/ownership realizes that acquiring the long awaited savior #1 center was probably a misuse of assets. I know at the time I did not want them to make this deal, and I am a fan of Carter's play and skills. I was hoping the team would truly build from the net out by getting a goalie and some defensive talent. Wiz is a nice PPQB/ 2nd pairing blueliner, but not the answer. I think the light went on and they realized with a bidding war at the trade deadline, they could get a solid young defenseman and a good goalie prospect, maybe even more for Carter. On the mainboard, Nashville fans seem to think a deal sending Lindback, Blum and Nashville's 1st pick for Carter is an acceptable deal. Buffalo fans like Sekera, Enroth, Buffalo's 2nd and 4th round picks for Carter. If trades like that are possible, they could make this team much much better almost immediately.

Could it be they just want to convert an asset into more needed assets?
I'll reiterate my feeling about a Carter trade. If he truly hasn't officially asked to be moved It would seem that if they were truly serious about remaking the roster, Nash's value on the open market would likely be higher than Jeff Carter's and Carter, with the position he plays, is arguably a better piece for the Jackets going forward.

As far as the brass thinking they could flip one asset into several, I think this is typical CBJ thinking, looking at the potential of what they could get vs. the reality of making it work once those pieces get here.

Carter, himself, was worth what we paid for him, with the NTC about to kick in and the amount of years remaining potentially scaring off some suitors, the CBJ will definitely be selling Carter at a discount vs. what they paid, in my opinion. Half a season and this organization is already throwing the biggest acquistion, ever in franchise history, into the scratch and dent bin.... Disgusting. That in itself speaks volumes about Howson and Priest's management abilities and shortcomings.

I'm honestly surprised with the amount of pub Carter being available has gotten, more fans aren't pointing to this as a prime example of yet another management failing. I could only reason that perhaps Carter requested a trade and promised not to make it public if the organization acquised as this would be the only excuse I could live with for making a move here.


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