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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More news on the GM Hunt

Except we still do not have one. The Dispatch reported this morning that Jim Clark and Don Boyd are out of consideration for the position, which is good news. Scott Howson seems to be the chosen one at this moment but we have not made an offer to him. Although, I am a little more than anxious to get someone in there. I am very nervous to have Howson come in, if that's the case. Not because I think he is a bad choice, he is more than qualified, but like I said before anyone who had a part in the Ryan Smyth trade, I don't know that I want to be my General Manager. I would love to say, oh this is great. But having him in office would leave me on pins and needles on trade deadline day. IF he is the chosen one however, I will support him and my team. I guess I need to look at his good points. He is amazing with the salary cap. Next year, we are likely to lose Sergei Fedorov and Adam Foote to free agency both of them I would say will retire. This will free up $10 Million....and give lots of room to sign some more good players.

Also, speaking of General Managers, Aaron Portzline met with Doug MacLean and interviewed him for the first time since his firing. It's a pretty entertaining article.

MacLean 'not bitter' over Jackets firing him
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:39 AM

Doug MacLean will be back in Nationwide Arena a lot sooner than anybody expected.

MacLean, fired as president and general manager of the Blue Jackets on April 18, will be part of TSN's television coverage of the NHL draft June 22 and 23. TSN is the Canadian arm of ESPN.

"Would I prefer it be someplace else? Absolutely," MacLean said. "It won't be easy, because obviously there is a connection.

"But they've asked me to be a part of their coverage of the draft. And I agreed."

In his first interview with The Dispatch since his firing, MacLean said he's "disappointed but not bitter" that his eight-year run at the helm of the Blue Jackets abruptly ended.

"I'm not moping around about it," MacLean said. "I've had two offers to get back into coaching (at the NHL level). I've got two TV offers sitting here on the table.

"I'm not in a panic. I've spent the last six weeks sitting back and spending time with the family before we decide what the next step will be."

MacLean was asked whether he had any regrets. In their six NHL seasons, the Blue Jackets put together the worst cumulative record in the league, never getting closer than 19 points from the playoffs.

"If anybody in management says he has no regrets, he's not telling the truth," MacLean said. "In hindsight, the one thing that jumps out is the goaltending. It bothers me to this day. I thought Marc Denis was the guy, but he gave us five pretty good years, not five great years.

"A lot of people have written and said that we rushed our young guys to the NHL. That, to me, is just way out of left field.

"There's a great opportunity to move ahead because we gave our young guys a chance to play early in their careers. Did it hurt me? Did it help bring me down? Probably. But it'll help the franchise down the road, for sure."

MacLean plans to live in Columbus for at least the next two years, he said. Before his firing, the family sold its Worthington home and bought a loft-style apartment in the Arena District.

"If I take the TSN job (permanently), I'll commute out of Columbus," MacLean said. "We've raised our kids here, and we're going to stay here until my daughter graduates from high school.

"And we like it here. I have fond memories with the Blue Jackets, things I'll never forget, people I'll always stay in touch with.

"I hate you guys (reporters), but we had a lot of great times here in Columbus."

Also, I will have my pre-draft post up at some point this weekend, but, I won't lie it probably be until Sunday night.

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