Jackets cut ties with Crunch coaches. What does this mean? It means that Scott Howson now has to hire more than a Jacket head coach. Or does it mean that the next coach will have a say on who is coaching in the minor league system. Or does it mean that Howson is covering all his bases by hiring a better or more-qualified AHL coach who can step in behind the Columbus bench in case things don’t work out with the next coach? Pittsburgh and Washington have shown the NHL that having a good AHL coach is a good way to succeed in the NHL.
Tampa Bay cleans house. Yep, the former Cup Champions turned train wreck Lightning, now with a new owner, have fired their coach and GM. What does this mean? It means that Columbus will have to compete against the Lightning for a coach, although this was not unexpected. But Tampa certainly is a nice place to live and the new owner has deep pockets, something that does not appear to be the case here in Ohio.
Theo Ruth turns pro. The player that the Jackets received from Washington when they traded Sergei Fedorov, Theo Ruth, has decided to skip his last year at Notre Dame and turn pro. He is not expected to make the Jackets next year and quite honestly, might not ever make them. But that is just my opinion based upon watching him play in about six games.
Jackets have a 10.7% chance at the number one draft pick. If they pick the right player and things go well, we could see our local boys back in the playoffs within a couple of years. I’m proud of the Jackets for not tanking their last few games to get a better chance at the #1. Because the #1 will not give us a return on investment for two-three years. And things might not improve all that much next season as the new hope learns how to play in the NHL and Columbus.
Flyers beat Rangers in SO to win last playoff slot. What does this mean? A lot to those of us in Columbus. You see, once again a former CBJ back-up goaltender played better after he left our team. Brian Boucher helped the Flyers yesterday and Ty Conklin has done very well with Detroit and Pittsburgh. Both got their game back again without the headache of playing in Columbus. Is it a coincidence that this happened when they played on teams with better defenses? Not great defenses, just defenses that were better than those in Columbus. Remember, Marc Denis was solid in Colorado before he came to Columbus, but after facing more rubber than a Toyota test drive leaves, he lost his game. Tugnutt did fine with Dallas. So maybe the next coach should be someone who knows defense and how to teach it. I don’t mean the Ken Hitchcock style of playing the trap, smothering the puck, and chipping it down the ice. No, how about defensemen who know how to control the puck, how to make the right pass, and how to manage a breakout.