again, being at work, I have to keep this short and sweet. I know that we are in a dark, dark place at the moment and the Jackets look to be settling into the role of bottom feeder. Now I agree with the majority here and think that something has to happen to shake things up, wake up the team and get them moving back into the right direction. The real question is what? or whom? should be the 'example'. Well answer seems pretty clear, that either head coach Scott Arniel or Goalie Steve Mason will be leaving town in prompt fashion if things don't change in a NY minute.
Don't get me wrong. I love Steve Mason. I feel he has the talent to be so much better than what he has shown so far (and previous seasons - there is a reason he won a Calder trophy.) The tragedy though, in all honesty, is that he would probably benefit from a move as much as the Jackets would trading him somewhere else.
Now comes the follow-up as to where you would move a goaltender with some obvious issues? who would take the risk? what would they give up for Mase? My thoughts are a.) you are going to be in talks with a team who are in a similair bind. (bad record, needs a shake up, new goaltender, etc.) - and there are options with the avenue. Bruins? Isles? Well how about a highly touted young back-up waiting for their chance to shine? Bernier? Schneider? Enroth? All of which are very viable options that wouldn't really put us any further back then we already are and personally, and I have stated this elsewhere on the Cannon, but if we do get around to finally trading Mase off I would not surprised if we tried to also make a deal for another defender...who? I don't know. Haven't really had the time to delve into that question but I'm sure some bloggers on here might have a thought or two. Just think if we get rid of Mase we should use the trade to bring in someone else for the blue-line to help sort some things out because frankly, its not ALL Mase's fault
However, no matter how much I like Mason, I feel it would do more damage to get rid of Scott Arniel then it would be to get rid of our troubled netminder. That right there to me is the true burning question at this moment because what do you do? I mean do you clean house? shake things up alittle and see what happens by trade deadline? switch coaching up? - this team has gone through so many systems now from so many different coaches but they aren't given the time to actually let the system sink in. It's like the coach's get 1 season to wow and if not, then I guess we are searching for a head coach all over again. This my friends, won't help the Jackets (no matter what the Devils did last year with Lemaire coming back because his system was still intact in all the players heads, it was just as simple as flipping a switch back from off to on.)
The Jackets have basically dismantled most of what Hitch has done for the club, trying to give Arniel the tools he needs to create a faster, more dynamic Columbus team. We don't have the size or physicality to continue on with a Hitch style of play. We would have to have a fire sale and then I don't know what the heck we would have to work with when all is said and done.
...he'll get up, then i'll get up...IT'LL BE ANARCHY!!!! (breakfast club, gotta love it.)
So personally, I'd keep Arniel. They have committed to his system and style of play and it would be much easier to find players that can adapt to that style then to bring in a coach who has an entirely different style of play and would demand different goals from players that might not really be able to play in that kind of system. So as sad as it is to say, it would be beneficial, in my eyes, to trade Mason off (esp since I believe there are plenty of teams that have an interest in Mason) Give Mase a fresh start, give us hopefully a more reliable/less head-cased goalie, and leaves a system that is still being worked on a chance to flourish and prove that it can be effective in Columbus.
Let's not throw everything away this early. Test the waters. Give the team a much needed shake. Keep a watchful eye until trade deadline and just try to patch what you can with the time left in the season. Look at the Oilers, bit the bullet like 3 seasons straight and look at what they are doing now....can't just keep cleaning house every season and expect a big change all at once. This isn't an established team, this team is still looking for an identity. Can't keep changing it up every season. Just won't work....cause it still hasn't worked for us yet.
- again, I wrote this very quickly and at work so errors, misquotes, and the likes I apologize....just needed to say it aloud and get your responses. CARRY THE FLAG!