Unsurprisingly, most of the news this morning is about the surprise hire of former coach Ken Hitchcock by the St. Louis Blues, and the dismissal of Davis Payne.
Right now, I know it's easy to say "The Jackets aren't doing anything!" and scream that this is the end, but let's also consider two things.
A) The front office has gotten REALLY good at operating quietly. The new arena proposal was a total surprise announcement. The third jerseys were kept more secure than the Colonel's 11 herbs and spices. The team conducted interviews with Guy Boucher AND a second interview with Scott Arniel, both IN COLUMBUS, with nobody in the media hearing a peep about it before the team openly discussed it.
B) Lack of press conferences is not lack of action. If the team is truly looking to make major changes, it's pretty likely that the ownership needs to meet, especially if the front office is to be affected, and candidates reviewed and interviewed. You can't even get a job working at Gamestop without a second interview. Do you really think that you'd hand over an NHL team based on the resume alone? If they're looking to trade, those talks also take time, especially when every other NHL GM knows you're in a position of weakness. There is a level of activity that we simply will not see until it happens, and it is in the best interest of the franchise for any move to remain quiet, regardless of which direction they take, because negotiating anything in the media simply saps more and more public confidence - especially if a planned deal doesn't get done.
Now, that said, I would love to see John P. McConnell or perhaps even the entire ownership group come out and make a statement. Even something as simple as "This season has been an unprecedented level of Murphy's law hitting the team, and we realize this is incredibly painful and frustrating for our fans and our organization" would go a long way. The ownership remaining silent in good times is acceptable - even understandable. The ownership remaining silent during bad times makes it all too easy to encourage panic and reinforces the fear that there is no accountability within the organization.
So, now we go on from there.
Over at Heart of a Jacket, we've got some thoughts about the human cost of the situation.
At Backhand Shelf, Ms. Conduct took a pretty epic hockey road trip, including two stops with the Lake Erie Monsters.
At Crimespree Hockey, they see a time for demoliton. I get his position, but I would make one note - the idea that Rusty Klesla was a "budget" d-man is actually a bit of revisionism. At the time he was traded he was looking at three more years and just shy of $3 million per season. That's not, say, Pekka Rinne money, but it's not bargain basement, either, especially given Klesla's injury history.
At the Dispatch, Michael Arace lays out two ways for the franchise to go from here. The arguments seem familiar.
At PHT, Georges Laraque and Darren Pang had a bit of a twitter spat, Vancouver squashed the Blackhawks, there will be no discipline (and apparently no explanation, which I find even worse) for the Zac Rinaldo hit on Aaron Johnson, and Mark Messier tore it up in the New York City Marathon.
Finally, over at Puck Daddy, a visor probably saved Drew Doughty's eyesight, former Jacket Ethan Moreau has been fined for boarding, apparently there was a pretty good BOTB episode this weekend that we couldn't watch (seriously, Direct TV, you'll give me TV from Russia, Korea, or China that is beamed to my house FROM SPACE, but you won't offer me CBC? I'd pay $5 a month for a package with CBC, TSN, Space, and a few other North of the Border offerings. Heck, I'd probably pay more than that, actually.), and perhaps our next coaching option could be a madman with a stick. If nothing else, it would turn the seats right behind the benches into a whole new experience.