Today the following letter was delivered to John P. McConnell along with your signed petitions.
Our final tally was 1,002 signatures in only 9 games. Thank you to all of you who made this possible! We will keep the pressure on ownership and management to deliver the team that this devoted fan base deserves! Expect additional updates over the summer on how you can stay involved.
Dear Mr. McConnell:
This letter is a follow up to our previous February 29 signatures on a petition from our fellow fans demanding the removal of Mike Priest as President and Scott Howson as General Manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Over the course of just 9 home games, we were able to obtain 1,002 signatures with a minimal number of volunteers and almost no press coverage. We received numerous e-mails of support from other fans who liveoutside of Columbus and were not able to attend one of those games. More than 200 fans
entered Nationwide Arena for the season finale with signs demanding the removal of Mr. Priest and Mr. Howson.
In short, the fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets have spoken. The signatures on this petition are but a small sample of the angst within the fan base—angst which is justified based on the fact that with no less than four different coaches the team has now finished dead last in the Central Division three consecutive seasons, something the Jackets had not done since the first 3 seasons. The decisions facing the team this summer will likely determine its success or failure not just for next season, but for seasons to come. The current management team has not established a track record that suggests they should be entrusted with such decisions, especially matters regarding coaching. If any reminder is needed on that point, one need look no further than Kevin Dineen, the former Blue Jacket who was passed over for Scott Arniel the last time the team needed a new coach, who now has more playoff wins in one season than Mr. Howson or Mr. Priest have in their entire tenure with the team.
We hope that you will fully consider this matter and act expeditiously to install a management team befitting of your devoted, if frustrated, fan base. We fear that a failure to act at this point will have a detrimental effect not just on the team’s future on-ice performance, but on attendance and general interest in the team amongst that fan base.
Should the status quo be maintained, we will continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly.
We have attached copies of the signed petitions with contact information redacted. Copies of this letter and those petitions will be shared with members of the press.
Very truly yours,
For A New Startpr@jacketsfans.com