Monday, January 09, 2012
The firing of Scott Arniel was inevitable in Columbus. The Blue Jackets have the worst record in the league. At 11-25-5 and 27 points, the Blue Jackets are behind teams that have already changed their coaches like the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and St. Louis Blues. They are 20 points behind the 8th Place Dallas Stars. So, the possibility of making the playoffs is slim and none. But I believe that he isn't the only person that should have been fired. How Scott Howson, the teams GM still has a job is beside me. His lackluster performance in his duties have caused this problem.
His signing of Jeff Carter hasn't paid dividends. He has missed 10 games with a broken foot and is now out with a separated shoulder. In 30 games that Carter has played, he has 10 goals and 7 assists. The chemistry with Rick Nash is slow to develop, if it ever does. Carter is -8 for his plus/minus rating.
The Steve Mason run in Columbus should have been done a long time ago. He was pulled for the fourth time this season in a 7-4 loss to the 2nd to last place Anaheim Ducks. Mason parlayed his real good looking rookie season into a contract which the Blue Jackets for some strange reason continue to try to make Mason earn with his play. Trade him for a sewing repair kit for any holes that the netting behind the net might have.
Steve Wisnewski, also a big signing this past offseason for the Blue Jackets hasn't panned out either. He has played 29 games. He is out for 6 weeks with a broken ankle. He has 2 goals and 15 assists for 17 points this year. The defenseman has a -18 rating. And as bad as hit +\- rating is, it isn't the worst on the team. That goes to perennial All-Star, Rick Nash. At a -20, he is the player on the Blue Jackets that is the worst in the category.
Now comes word that the Blue Jackets are ready to deal some players away. Vinny Prospal who leads the team with 30 points is trade bait because of his impending Unrestricted Free Agent status after this year. Samuel Pahlsson is an expiring contract who will get some attention from playoff teams, especially since he is in positive territory from the +\- rating. There are others that the Blue Jackets would be willing to trade away and their long term contracts, but there isn't lots of return from those players.
Columbus has a decision to make this year and need to make it soon. Do they decide to keep the Big 3 of Nash, Carter and Wisnewski or do they decide to trade those players with an eye towards gaining yet more prospects that over the years haven't panned out for them? And no matter what the brain trust decides, Scott Howson shouldn't be part of making that decision. He should be out on the street right along side Scott Arniel today. Because if he is the best person that they can find for the GM post, then the Blue Jackets deserve to languish as the worst team in the league.