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Dose of Reality #41

April 9, 2007

The Blue Jackets on-ice schedule is over, but hunting season is now upon us. The game that is now in season is Doug MacLean. I think most everyone can agree that Michael Arace, Aaron Portzline, Bob Hunter, and I don’t want MacLean around anymore. Speaking for myself, I would like to see him leave the organization completely and not just give up the GM position but remain as President.

People have stated that Doug has done a lot for hockey in Central Ohio, but I have to ask what it is he did after the puck was dropped in October of 2000? Doug got the franchise going and out of the starting blocks, but name something noteworthy that he accomplished after that.

A key passage that Michael Arace points out is that many (if not most) of the CBJ fans are transplants, out-of-towners who know the game of hockey because they grew up or lived somewhere other than Central Ohio. I know from conversations with the local USA Hockey associations that they get calls all the time from people who are considering a job transfer to the Columbus area because of the Blue Jackets, but want more information on the youth hockey programs. Last time I checked, the two biggest associations, CAHA and CCYHA, were around before the Blue Jackets. These transplants, people who do not have a moment of silence when they see the letters OSU, work a lot harder at developing local hockey than Doug MacLean. Together with the native hockey families, the future looks bright. Please put the “MacLean contributions to local hockey” argument to rest.

As far as the names that Arace mentioned on Sunday, most of them are good candidates, but haven’t accomplished much in the New NHL. Dave Taylor, Pat Quinn, Craig Patrick, and Craig Button are old school guys. Rick Dudley and Ron Hextall have not won anything important. Bob Murray is still learning the job in Anaheim after getting burned in Chicago. Jim Nill of the Red Wings is accustomed to having a lot of money and a deep talent pool, which he won’t have in Columbus. Don Maloney of the Rangers also works for a team with a big wallet.

I am partial to Neil Smith because he was a winner in the Red Wing organization and brought the Rangers the Cup in 1994. He also deserves some of the credit for the success of the Islanders this season even though he was only with them for 30 days. But I will listen to all opinions.

Anyway, a new GM has to be named soon so that he can prepare for the draft. That is a big area of the GM’s responsibility and it wouldn’t be productive to throw somebody at the job in mid-May. Not only will the new GM have to make immediate draft and trade decisions, he will have to re-evaluate the entire player development program and scouting departments of the Blue Jackets. That will take some time.

So have fun watching our local hockey soap opera, but take the time to watch the playoffs and enjoy the real NHL season.

-Truth Serum

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One comment

  1. Unrelated to your topic.

    What a joke of a fan appreciation celebration that final game was. I didn’t have the luxury of sitting in the lower bowl for this game, instead I was located in 222. Normally, there is multiple beer stations serving more than just Bud Light draft. Not for this one on that end of the ice, instead they had 3 mobile stands all located near the escalators around sections 209 and that was it.

    Then if you wanted to possibly get a jersey off a player’s back you had to pay for a raffle ticket. How is that showing you care for a fan?? A buddy of mine stuck around and said that they also weren’t throwing out the swag like they normally do every year after the game. Maybe they should think about why the game didn’t sellout. It isn’t just because the team wasn’t going to the playoffs.

    I generally enjoy going to the games, but I really do not know if I can continue to pay all of the money every year to see this anymore. I pay in hopes they will make the playoffs and can experience what I’m sure will be one fantastic atmosphere.



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