Let's hope Darren Pang is coming along too... - Getty Images
4 Total Updates since October 24, 2012
7 months ago Update 2 comments
We've got some exclusive video from today's press conference for you - sorry for the delay, but video processing takes time.
First off, here's J.P. Mac making a few remarks, then the first official address from J.D. to the faithful:
Next, Lori Schmidt and I both had a chance to talk with Mike Priest, who talked about both his role and J.D.'s in regards to the community and the NHL at large.
Finally, we have the man himself, both finishing a session with some other local media, answering questions from Lori Schmidt, and finally a few minutes one on one with me.
For now, it's a lot to take in, but I can't help but feel like there are some big days ahead. The man is incredible in person, still full of power, energy, and clear enthusiasm for the road ahead.
It's a good day to be a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
7 months ago Update 4 comments
Before an invested and excited audience that included the entire Blue Jackets' coaching staff, GM Scott Howson, advisor Craig Patrick, the ownership group, and nearly the entire Columbus sports' press corps, Blue Jackets team president Mike Priest stepped to the podium and announced the hiring of a man who will likely be seen as his replacement by many fans.
That, of course, isn't entirely accurate - it would be more appropriate to call him a partner, and in fact, a partner whose presence in the organization may be the capstone of several major victories engineered by Priest this past year.
After glowing introductions by Mr. Priest and majority owner John P. McConnell, John Davidson took the podium, and a new era of Blue Jackets hockey began.
Experienced, expressive, and intelligent, John Davidson is man with a boisterous soul, and it comes across when he speaks to you, in person or as a group. He's happy to make a joke or two, he doesn't like to be called "Mr. Davidson", and he's basically like the drinking buddy / Dutch Uncle you always wanted to have. When he talks, it comes with a sense of grounding. He's seen things like this before, and he's ready to tackle them.
Things are going to be OK.
That calming certainty may get called upon quite a lot over the next year or two. Davidson is certainly optimistic about what the club has, particularly on defense, but he made a point of stressing that he wants this team to build itself up. "Brick by Brick" might just become his catchphrase here in town as he deflects questions from fans and media who want to see a winner sooner than later. I don't doubt that he thinks we have some good bricks in the mortar already - he seemed pleased with the way the team got bigger over the offseason - but I suspect he wants to see several more passes laid down before he tries to push things too hard.
Today was talking about goals - finding a home for himself and his family, getting a chance to sit down with Scott Howson, Craig Patrick, and Chris MacFarland, establishing and expanding on the club's identity, and bringing victories to Nationwide Arena.
The details will take time, but the blueprints are drawn, and the builder has arrived.
Now it's simply a matter of bricks, hard work, and time.
7 months ago Article 29 comments
What moves can we expect from the Jackets' front office now that John Davidson has been hired as team president?
7 months ago Update 1 comment
Following months of speculation and news late last night that a deal was close, the Blue Jackets have made a huge move to improve their front office by hiring former St. Louis Blues' president John Davidson to be their president of hockey operations. There is a press conference at 2 PM to formally introduce Davidson, which can be streamed online at the team's website (see link above).
Davidson brings an injection of instant credibility not only around the league, but for the fanbase as well. This is a guy who has been around the NHL his entire life as a player, a hall-of-fame broadcaster, and an executive. He has a track record, helping to turn the Blues from a 21-win laughingstock to four straight seasons with 87 or more points, including three with more than 90, two playoff appearances, and this season's division title.
Davidson succeeded in bringing in a front office that has forged an identity for the Blues--something that has been lacking here in Columbus--and his staff worked to build a roster and coaching staff to match that identity.
Beyond that, Davidson is a great PR guy. When hired by the Blues a year removed from a lockout and coming off a 57-point season, he immediately became the new face of their franchise. For an organization that just traded it's franchise-fase to New York, Davidson immediately fills that vacuum for Columbus as well.
Jacket fan favorite David Backes has nothing but praise for JD:
"His savvy, his connections, his ability to connect with people is remarkable. He'll still have that wherever he goes or whatever endeavor he finds next. ... The position that we're in now compared to when he got here the year before me and since I've been here, it's been phenomenal. It's definitely been aided by his work, his efforts ... not just the work he does around the arena but it's heartfelt with all the work he does with the animal rescue stuff. He's got the same sort of jungle running around his house that I do. It's sad to see him not be part of the Blues and the St. Louis community anymore, but a great man and hopefully we can find somebody that can pick up the slack."
In short, this is HUGE for the Blue Jackets.