Dose of Reality #11

November 27, 2006

Dose of Reality

So we have a new coach who brings an impressive record of accomplishment to the organization. Welcome, Ken Hitchcock, and I and all the other Columbus Blue Jackets fans wish you the best of luck.

As you begin your three-year tenure in Columbus, you will probably shop for a house. You might want to look at properties in an area not too far from Nationwide Arena, but away from the many golf courses that seem to attract employees from the organization. I understand that you are somewhat of a history buff, so perhaps something close to The Ohio State University, where you can share your love of history with others who have the same interests. By the way Ken, the library is under construction, just like the Blue Jackets, and is not user-friendly at this time, also just like the Blue Jackets.

You will love the fact that the team has its practice ice in the same building as Nationwide Arena, so the players can keep everything in their lockers and you can walk back to your office after one of your anticipated ball-buster practices. Maybe you should schedule an early morning skate at Easton once in awhile so the players have to get up early and drive to the rink without the comforts of their own locker facilities like other NHL teams have to do. Get them a little uncomfortable and not so content, eh?

Your boss has his own radio show, the only GM in the NHL who has one. I think you should insist on being a regular guest on every show when it fits your schedule. You might be able to neutralize him a little and let the players know that you are in charge of on-ice operations.

Don’t be afraid to speak up if you have an issue with the performance of one of the players. Bench them even if they once played in Detroit, Colorado or PEI. It’s your job now and you have been given the authority to win. So win.

I hope you focus on the Blue Jackets and get the players to believe that they can compete and win in the NHL. All in all, they are a good group of guys who are usually nice and courteous to the fans. Maybe some of them are not a good fit for the Blue Jackets and should be given the opportunity to find another place to play. I think they all understand that your strategy and tactics will different from previous coaches and they might have to reconsider their place in Columbus. But they have open minds and realize that things must change.

Respect the fans here in Columbus. We are not all bumpkins who thought ice was something that you put in your glass. Not many of us have NHL experience, but we do know bullshit when we hear it, and we have heard a lot over the past few seasons. Many of the Blue Jacket fans grew up somewhere else and played some hockey. We went to games in other cities before we settled in this area. A few people even accepted a relocation to Columbus because of the Blue Jackets; we love the sport so much we were thrilled to come here and attend NHL games. A lot of your fan base gets up at 5:00 AM on weekends for youth hockey and know the sacrifices the players and their families made to get here.

Welcome to Columbus, Mr. Hitchcock. I look forward to your success.

– Truth Serum



  1. I was in Pittsburgh on the weekend to see the Pens and Rangers play a great game that went to overtime:
    trust me the Jackets have a great distance to travel if they are going to get close to these teams. If you compare the Pens player for player, Columbus cannot match at any posistion. Fluery is ahead of LeClaire, Crosby is ahead of Nash, Malkin is ahead of Zherdev, Recchi is ahead of Federov, Armstrong is ahead of Modin, Jordan Staal is miles ahead of Brule and Gonchar is ahead of Foote. Oh yes, it’s early but Therrien is ahead of Hitch but you have to give Hitch time. Clearly MacLean has over rated his talent and hence over paid.

  2. I don’t think any true fan has any illusions about the tough road to respectability the team has ahead.

    It’s funny to me that the Pens and Rangers were used as examples of your good teams. They are both exciting to watch, and are obviously better than the Jackets. No question there. But if you look back one year in the Penguins case, and two seasons in the Rangers case, these were not good hockey clubs.

    If anything is evident in the “New NHL”, it should be that things can turn on a dime. Doug MacLean has done his part to hamper the club’s ability to turn things around, but sometimes this can be done in spite of poor GM-ing (Glen Sather, anyone?). As a CBJ fan, I hope that we can be the poster-child of turnaround teams very soon, with or without CGMDM.

    Thanks for stopping by, Patrick. Your comments are appreciated.

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