Welcome to this week's Friday Followup, with some news from around the CBJ and the NHL in general.
First, in the continuing coaching search, the biggest news is that Hamilton was upset by Texas, 4-2, in game 7 of the AHL's Western Conference finals on the strength of Stars goalie Matt Climie, who made 41 saves in the victory, his third game in a row facing over 40 shots. (I wouldn't be surprised to see Climie make a jump to the Stars as a backup for Kari Lehtonen next season.) As of Friday morning, the Blue Jackets have not officially contacted Montreal for permission to speak with Hamilton head coach Guy Boucher, but it is expected to happen some time today.
From a fan perspective, Dark Blue Jacket takes a look at Columbus compared to the other open coaching vacanies in the NHL.
Meanwhile, The Hockey Writers Jeff Little interviews CBJ President Mike Priest, discussing the arena situation, the on-ice product, and the future of the club, including the coaching search and upcoming draft. Very worth reading.
Finally, at least in Columbus specific news, Don Cherry said something controversial and apparently this is worth a headline? Don't get me wrong, I love Grapes, and I get a kick out of watching Coach's Corner on HNIC (unless it's being blacked out - thanks, FCC!), but this is what he does. He wears outfits of truly retina searing plumage, holds forth a controversial opinion, and usually doesn't miss the chance to beat a few of his favorite dead horses (European players, visors, US markets vs. Canadian teams, etx). I think the only surprising thing about Cherry saying that smaller markets would be bad for TV ratings is that it was considered worthy of a news item.
Wider NHL news after the jump.
Apparently the Atlanta Thrashers may finally be able to pull the FOR SALE sign off their front lawn. When I heard on XM Radio that it was some one named Rollins, my first thought was "GET IN THE VAN!" Sadly, it turns out to be this guy. (Puck Daddy)
Over at Puck The Media, Steve Lepore has had a busy week, making predictions on how this year's Stanley Cup Finals will stack up against last year's, ratings wise, reporting that Ryan Miller will be part of the NBC studio team for the finals, and taking a look at where your team shows up in Google Search rankings.
In news that surprises no-one, the NHL finally confirmed that we will have a Caps/Pens Winter Classic at Heinz field. However, what was a little surprising was the TSN report that Canada will finally be getting an outdoor game with a Montreal/Calgary matchup at McMahon stadium in February.
A list of the NHL's worst no trade clauses....and for once, Columbus is nowhere on it! Thank you, Mr. Howson! (Bangin' Panger)
It wouldn't be a proper championship without a wager, would it? (Broad Street Hockey)
An interesting look at Shot Quality vs. Shot Quantity over at Copper & Blue.
Though I don't think it's as good as the cup-raising montage from a few years ago, the new "There are no words" commercial from the NHL is a pretty good one.