Justin K. Aller
Near the stroke of midnight, Blue Jackets fans have been offered some good news thanks to reports that John Davidson is about to come on board, but as usual, it seems like there's a catch.
In the words of many a Newscaster around this time of year, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new President."
According to Aaron Portzline, the Blue Jackets are finalizing a deal that will see John Davidson take over as the club's President of Hockey Operations that could be announced as soon as Wednesday. (That'd be tomorrow.)
Update: Davidson's hiring is now official, and a press conference will be held this afternoon to formally introduce Davidson in his new role.
AP also reports that Craig Patrick, Scott Howson, and Chris MacFarland will be retained by the organization, but don't be surprised if J.D. is going to be giving them a short leash until he decides if he's satisfied with their works. In some ways, the lockout could be another one of those "blessings in disguise" the club is currently experiencing with some of its' younger talent by giving him a chance to settle in, survey his new domain, and perhaps put his own stamp on a few things before the next time skates hit the ice inside of Nationwide.
Speaking of the arena, that brings up the bad news I mentioned.
A hat tip to Columbus Wired's Justin Boggs, who highlighted a petition from the Columbus Coalition For Responsive Government, who seek to have the City's deal to purchase and fund Nationwide Arena voided after 2016, returning it back to the ownership of Nationwide Realty and terminating the use of casino revenues to support the facility.
Keep in mind that this is a petition, not on the ballot yet, and they are at just 506 signatures of the 9,100 required, but it's worth keeping an eye on. Politically, this could be a hot button issue, especially if the lockout costs the city the all star game along with more of the NHL season. I'm not a political expert or financials wizard (that'd be Jeff Little, who hasn't weighed in yet), but I'll keep an eye out if this should move beyond the "Rabble rabble rabble" stage.