Friday, March 16, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

Below is an email F.A.N.S. received from Dan Kucsik on March 5th, 2012.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Dan Kucsik.  I have been a season ticket holder since Day 1 and currently reside in Missouri.  I have maintained my season tickets even after a move to Missouri in 2004.  As a lifelong hockey fan, I have hoped that the Blue Jackets would go from an expansion team in 2000 to a successful franchise and playoff contender.

After being both patient and extremely loyal the organization (being an "out-of-state" season ticket holder), the movement you are undertaking is more than overdue.  As an "outsider" living in Missouri and seeing the perception of the Blue Jackets and the management of the Blue Jackets organization from afar, it is very embarrassing.  Both Mr. Priest and Mr. Howson need to be replaced immediately and need to be replaced with experienced hockey people.

I am writing to you for a couple of reasons.  First of all, to thank you for your efforts in organizing this much needed effort.  Secondly, to offer up any help, and even possibly try to show up on site and give a "testimonial" from one of the Blue Jackets "Out of State" season ticket holders.  Hockey fans are passionate about their teams and I am a hockey fan.  We all want a winner, but more importantly, we want to see a quality team with a chance to win every night.

Dan Kucsik
Season Ticket Holder - Section 115
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Below is the response Dan received from the Columbus Blue Jackets after he informed his season ticket rep that he would not renew unless Mike Priest and Scott Howson were removed from their current positions.

January 27, 2012

Dear Dan,

My father held a longstanding belief that a major league sports franchise would prove an important catalyst in the growth and development of Columbus. After more than 30 years of effort, the opportunity to make his belief reality presented itself with the NHL awarding a franchise to Columbus in 1997. To my mind, it is clear he was right in his vision. With the Blue Jackets and the Arena as the anchor, Nationwide Insurance has brought vibrancy to our downtown in the Arena District that simply wouldn't have happened without the team.

That said, there is no question our on-ice performance is nowhere near what it needs to be. All of you are disappointed and many are angry. I and the entire Blue Jackets organization share these feelings. I thought as we approached mid-season at the All-Star break, it would be a good time to reflect on where we've been and offer some thoughts about how we go forward. We have taken actions and will continue our push to improve.

Toward the end of last season, we did a thorough evaluation of our team's strengths and weaknesses. From there, a plan was developed balancing our needs against our tradable assets. During the summer, we believed we executed the plan well and took a good step forward. Most people seemed to agree and we were excited for the season to start.

Unfortunately and surprisingly, we opened the season terribly and have struggled ever since. Disappointing is not a strong enough word.

I understand you want to know what we're going to do to fix this, but it is important for us to maintain a degree of discretion to prevent putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage. I can tell you action will be taken in the coming weeks and months, be it around the trade deadline, the entry draft and/or free agency that will be indicative of our direction.

Our goal as an organization is to build a team that wins consistently and competes for the Stanley Cup. Anything less is unacceptable! Everything we do in the coming weeks, months and years will be done to that end and everyone in our organization - myself, management, staff, coaches and players - will be held to that standard.

I am very thankful and appreciative of the dedication and passion you have shown as a Blue Jackets fan and I am committed to giving you a team of which you can be proud.


John P. McConnell

Since that letter was sent (which should look very familiar), Dan has not had a single follow up from anyone within the Columbus Blue Jackets organization.

Thanks for sharing your story Dan.