Thursday, April 12, 2012

"All They Really Want Is For That To Go Away..."

Via the Dispatch chat today:
Q: What was the reaction from management to the F.A.N.S. movement? Other than throwing out people with Anti Howson/Priest signs? Do they even care at this point or are the blinders on?

A: They're in a tough spot. They have to act like they care, and they have to act like they're listening. But all they really want is for that to go away.
Q: When would the window of opportunity/probability on firing Howson close... or has it already?

A: All signs as of today point to GM Scott Howson staying in his current role with the club. Could they make a move in the next week or two? Absolutely. But there's no indication that's being considered. To the contrary, it's hard to imagine ownership allowing Howson to oversee trade talks involving a player as significant at Rick Nash if you don't trust him to be your GM. I can't imagine they'd send Howson to Toronto for the draft lottery if he's not their guy. The way this has been sold to ownership -- best I can tell -- is that the arrival of senior adviser Craig Patrick has helped buttress the front office, that Howson needed a sounding board and a veteran, experienced voice to help consider significant moves. If Howson were going to be fired, you would most certainly expect it to have happened before now.

Q: I still don't understand how the people (Priest, Howson) that put this failed plan together are being trusted to now come up with a new plan. Would this work in any other hockey city?  Philly fans would probably be rioting by now.

12:26:45 Portzline: In pro sports, it's very unusual for a club to have such a high payroll -- it was fourth-highest in the league at one point early in the season -- and such a low spot in the standings. That's a toxic mix, especially for a market the size of Columbus. They believe the hiring of Patrick as senior adviser has changed the dynamic in the front office. We shall see. It's possible that with two non-hockey lifers at the top of the organization -- majority owner John P. McConnell and President Mike Priest -- that they simply don't know where to turn, or who out there could be trusted to turn it around. I had breakfast with three very smart hockey people this morning, guys in the business. There thought was that a very impressive hockey guy like Ron Hextall or Ron Francis should be brought in, allowed to hire his own people, given autonomy on big decisions and let them grow the franchise.
Message to ownership - we aren't going anywhere until accountability, pride and honor are restored and maintained to this franchise.  It's up to you.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)