A lot of people in Columbus were shocked to wake up and learn that Ken Hitchcock was hired on Sunday night. By the St. Louis Blues! And so the curtain has closed on Act I of this tragedy of a season. There will be no more speculation about Hitch returning to coach the Blue Jackets. And, perhaps more importantly, there will be no more awkward situations like those witnessed recently at Nationwide, with Hitch in the stands watching practices run by his eventual successor, Scott Arniel, while sitting next to Arniel's boss, CBJ President Mike Priest.
|CBJ fans to ownership: Can you do us a kindness please?|
On the other hand, it now creates a very awkward situation for GM Scott Howson and maybe even Priest as well. Hitchcock replaces Davis Payne, who has guided the Blues to a 6-7-0 record so far this season. I wonder how many body organs would be donated by Jackets fans for a 6-7-0 record right now? If that's not good enough in the Central Division, then clearly 2-11-1 isn't either. So that can only lead us to one conclusion: Arniel's replacement isn't going to be selected until Howson's replacement is selected. And it's quite possible that Howson's replacement might not be selected until Priest's replacement is selected. Anybody up for a game of dominoes?
If Howson is as good as gone, that would also explain why the Blue Jackets keep running Steve Mason out there. Like Arniel, his fate might be sealed but his replacement is probably not going to materialize until Howson is replaced first. In fact, it seems clear at this point that no major moves are going to be made until ownership hires a new architect to rebuild this mess. In the meantime, they appear to have taken away Howson's car keys and his cell phone, and locked him in a broom closet down the hall so that he doesn't muck this thing up even more than it already is.
If I'm reading the tea leaves accurately, it could be some time before Arniel is let go. In the meantime, the CBJ marketing folks are going to have to get real creative to get people to come down to Nationwide to watch this circus. On second thought, maybe that's exactly what they should do. Embrace the fact that it's a circus and bill it as such:
Step right up people! See midget defenders and the Disappearing Goalie! See the Largest Inflatable Cannon in the World! Watch a team outshoot its opponent 40-20 AND LOSE! You won't believe your eyes, but you gotta see it live!
For those that still care, the Jackets are at home for two games this week:
- On Thursday night the Jackets welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to town. The Hawks start this week in first place in the Central division with an 8-3-3 record. The Blackhawks defeated the Jackets 5-2 in Chicago on October 29.
- The Winnipeg Jets, coached by former CBJ Interim head coach Claude Noel, come to Nationwide on Saturday evening. The Jets presently sit at 5-7-2, last place in the Southeast division.
If you are still a Blue Jackets fan at this point, God bless you. As I've said before, laughter is always the best medicine. Accordingly, I'm sharing with you a video clip on this sober Monday morning, a video clip that always makes me laugh in those challenging situations, like this one, where it is difficult to be humored. I am not embedding the Youtube Player for this clip because you probably don't want to play it in an office environment or within earshot of children (or persons that are easily, and maybe even not so easily, offended by foul language). There's a good chance you've already seen it. Either way, I highly recommend the movie that was inspired by it.
Have a great week everybody!