Well, this isn’t exactly a shock at this point, but the Jackets finally fired Doug MacLean.
While I don’t think Doug’s every move has been a disaster, the team he’s assembled as a whole isn’t where it should be after seven years. It was time to move on.
In the long run, Doug should be remembered positively in Columbus for the role he played in establishing the team and making hockey a success in Central Ohio. He was nothing if not an effective salesman for the sport, the franchise, and the city. And a few years from now, when the Jackets hopefully are making the playoffs and competing, there will probably be several MacLean draft picks at the heart of the team. But this is a business where winning matters, and winning puts butts in the seat, and Doug’s team wasn’t winning, and the butts in the seats were dwindling. And that’s ultimately why this move had to be made.
It’s still going to be an uphill climb for a new GM. The team’s holes aren’t easy to fill, especially in the context of the money that’s already tied up in Fedorov and Foote. Even with a full year of Hitch behind the bench, the playoffs are by no means certain next year, and if we’re being honest here, they’re probably more likely to miss out on the post-season again.
But that’s why they play the games, as the saying goes. We’ll see who they hire and what happens next. But right now, it’s morning again in Columbus.
More coverage from the Dispatch:
- Michael Arace analyzes Doug’s tenure
- Bob Hunter comes not to praise Doug, but to bury him
- Todd Jones says it will be quieter around here without Doug.
- Michael Arace considers the candidates for Doug’s job(s)
- Aaron Portzline’s take on Doug’s moves
- The Doug photo gallery
- Dispatch readers weigh in with their comments
More CBJ bloggers’ takes at: The Jacket Times, End of the Bench, Army of the Ohio, Bethany’s Hockey Rants, Better on Ice and of course Fire Doug MacLean (the news broke late, obviously, so not everyone’s had time yet to make extensive posts, but I’m sure they’re getting there).