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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Howson's Conference Call

  • Nikolai Zherdev is starting with a clean slate. I suppose this is a good thing. Although, I am quite confident that nothing with Zherdev is going to change. Howson said, "He's extremely talented and skilled. I know there have been issues here. We will deal with them at an appropriate time. You have to be very careful with a player of that caliber and that skill set. I just remember a game in Edmonton not too long ago where we were up 1-0 with four minutes to go and he undressed somebody and scored. I don't have any baggage with him. I'm going to hear what (coach Ken) Hitchcock has to say and what the staff has to say, but we start with a clean slate."
  • On our lack of identity. I have said all along the Blue Jackets have so much potential but no identity and well Howson agrees. "This team has the potential to be big, competitive and hard to play against. That's always been the style I tend to gravitate toward. You can't win without skill. You have to have skill. And there is some skill on this team, but one of the things I became excited about when I looked at this team closer is it's learning to be more competitive (under Hitchcock)." Hitch makes us better...it's true :)
  • On what is going to happen with the Front Office...remember this is his first day. "It's a tough thing. There's some uncertainty there. I'm going to meet with them all individually and as a group. I don't have any preconceived notions about who should stay or if anyone should go. I don't have a person that I'm ready to bring in. I want to get the right people in, and the right people might be here."
  • On what he learned from Kevin Lowe...hopefully it was not to trade your heart and soul...YES I am still bitter. "It was a chance for me to get acclimated with the NHL, to learn how things work. The leadership in that organization. (General manager) Kevin Lowe is a six-time Stanley Cup winner. (Coach) Craig MacTavish has won, I think, two or three Stanley Cups. The way these people conduct themselves, the unselfishness, the belief that it's all about the great good."
As I read through the Conference Call I got really excited. Everyday, I read something about Howson that makes me trust him more. Whether it's saying he is going to take his time with our younger guys. Or even giving Zherdev another chance, because I do still have faith that he can succeed with the Jackets. Anyway, I am so excited to see what he will do with our franchise and I am willing to give him a chance. I leave you with a quote from Howson:

I'm more the type to under-promise and over-deliver, I have one simple goal, to build a championship team that consistently performs at the highest level, a team of which our passionate fans can be proud. This is all about having the right players, on and off the ice.

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