Tag:Scott Howson
Posted on: February 2, 2012 8:38 pm
 

Gary Bettman comments on LA clock controversy



By: Adam Gretz

Everybody has an opinion or a thought on what took place in Los Angeles on Wednesday night when the clock appeared to stop just prior to Drew Doughty's game-winning goal with 0.4 seconds remaining in the game.

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi offered a scientific explanation. Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson shared his thoughts in a blog post on the Blue Jackets website that has since been deleted (but don't worry, the Internet never forgets).

And now NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has weighed in on the controversey, via NHL.com, and unlike Lombardi, did not include "coulombs" as part of his statement:

"Not good, not acceptable -- if [the clock] had run straight through, the game would have been at a tie at that point, would have gone to overtime. And maybe L.A. would have won anyway, maybe not. That's not the point. We are taking this very seriously. We're investigating as to how it happened. Obviously it's either human error or a technology glitch. We don't know which, but we've already begun investigating and we will get to the bottom of it.

"Now I know lots of people are going to say, 'How can you have a mistake?' Well, unfortunately or fortunately, our game is full of mistakes -- by players, by coaches and occasionally by officials -- and on some levels it's no different than if a guy makes a bad penalty call, puts a team on the power play and they score the winning goal. It happens. We don't like when it happens and our job is to minimize mistakes. We don't want any, but obviously when you have a human element in any aspect of the game you're going to have it.

"If we had any reason to believe that this was intentional we would deal with it in a whole different way, but we're going to investigate it, get to the bottom of it."

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Clock error helps Kings, Jackets GM Responds
Lombardi's explanation

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:23 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 2:35 pm
 

Kings' Lombardi's clock response you have to read

By Brian Stubits

If you thought the story involving the Kings and Blue Jackets clock error was crazy enough, we present to you what Kings GM Dean Lombardi told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com.

(Note: We are not liable if your mind is blown by the following. Reader discretion is advised.)

"Those clocks are sophisticated instruments that calculate time by measuring electrical charges called coulombs -- given the rapidity and volume of electrons that move through the measuring device the calibrator must adjust at certain points which was the delay you see -- the delay is just recalibrating for the clock moving too quickly during the 10 -- 10ths of a second before the delay -- this insures that the actual playing time during a period is exactly 20 minutes That is not an opinion -- that is science -- amazing devise quite frankly."

All I can say to that is Wow. I'm speechless. So instead I'll leave it to Dr. Emmett Brown.

Yes, there are all sorts of politically correct or even less P.C. answers a GM could give to being asked about this error. Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson took the less P.C. route on his blog earlier Thursday.

"It is an amazing coincidence that with the Kings on a power play at STAPLES Center and with a mad scramble around our net in the dying seconds of the third period of a 2-2 hockey game that the clock stopped for at least one full second. I can only think of two ways in which this would have happened. Either there was a deliberate stopping of the clock or the clock malfunctioned."

Going the much safer route, Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster, whose team is hoping for one of the last spots in the Western Conference playoff picture, said his team can't worry about it.

“It is our understanding the NHL is already investigating this matter.” Feaster said. “Moreover, as Colin Campbell was quoted as saying, once the game is over it is over. There is nothing the NHL is going to do, or can do, to correct the situation if, indeed, there was a mistake made in that game.

“Rather than crying over what happened in a game in which we did not take part, our time and energies are devoted to our own team and doing everything we can to win the games we play and in so doing qualify for the post-season. We sincerely believe that is a much better and more efficient use of our time and effort.”

Of course, none are even in the same realm as that Lombardi gem. I think. Maybe he could answer that one for me.

But seriously, here is the genius of it (besides the quantim physics involved): It's beyond almost everybody's comprehension that it sounds completely legitimate. Not that I'm implying it isn't true, but even if it weren't, who'd really know? Probably not many. Pure genius.

More from Eye on Hockey

Clock error helps Kings; Jackets GM responds

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 2, 2012 9:33 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 4:52 pm
 

Clock error helps Kings; Jackets GM's reaction

By Brian Stubits

When it's not your year, it's just not your year. What other non-sensical explanation can the Columbus Blue Jackets have after Wednesday night's loss to the Los Angeles Kings?

In a 2-2 game and the Kings on a power play in the final minute, the Kings pulled their best Staples Center co-tenant Kobe Bryant and pulled a rabbit out of their hat by way of a Drew Doughty goal with 0.4 seconds left in the game. That's bad enough for the Blue Jackets.

Making it worse? It probably shouldn't have counted. There was nothing wrong with the goal itself and the puck did go in before the clock showed 0:00.00. However the clock should have already been at 0 when Doughty scored.

Here is a look at the goal from the broadcast perspective.

If you were watching the action on the ice leading up to Doughty's goal, you probably didn't notice what was going on with the clock. So here's another angle, one you can't miss.

The clock comes to a stop for roughly a full second at the 1.8 mark. If Doughty scored with 0.4 left on the clock ... you can see why the Blue Jackets are upset.

"I don’t have any official report," Blue Jackets interim coach Todd Richards said to the Columbus Dispatch. "But watching the replay and talking to the producer who does our show [On Fox Sports Ohio], the clock stopped at 1.8 and stopped for 1.5 seconds. They scored with 0.5.

"I’m really disappointed for the players."

I suppose it's possible that the clock on the broadcasts didn't match the actual game clocks, but that's something I'm not going to put my money on.

One of the things I love about the Blue Jackets is the accessability and outreach of their general manager Scott Howson. He's active on Twitter. He even has his a blog he posts rather candid updates on. Here is some of his latest entry (the blog has since been removed because Howson reportedly felt some opinions were "made too strongly")

I spoke with (NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations) Colin Campbell on two occasions after the game. Sometimes in watching the game on television there can be confusion with respect to the game clock. Some television broadcasts use their own game clock that is not official with the rink. However, and after double checking, Colin confirmed that we were actually seeing the official game clock stop for one full second. Therefore, when you do the math, Drew Doughty actually scored 0.4 seconds after time had expired, which means the goal should have been disallowed and should have gone to overtime. Colin has promised me that the NHL will investigate this to try and figure out how this happened.

It is an amazing coincidence that with the Kings on a power play at STAPLES Center and with a mad scramble around our net in the dying seconds of the third period of a 2-2 hockey game that the clock stopped for at least one full second. I can only think of two ways in which this would have happened. Either there was a deliberate stopping of the clock or the clock malfunctioned.

It’s easy to say that this doesn’t matter. We, the Blue Jackets, are in last place and it is likely not going to affect our place in the standings. However, in my opinion, this matters in many respects. It matters to our players, to our coaches, every person in our organization and our fans. In talking with our coaches and Craig Patrick, our players played with passion, tenacity, grit, determination and competitiveness after a rather embarrassing loss in San Jose the night before. This tremendous effort was put in without four of our top six defensemen (James Wisniewski, Nikita Nikitin, Marc Methot and Radek Martinek) and with Jeff Carter, Ryan Johansen, Mark Letestu and Kristian Huselius also out of the lineup. We will never know if we should have had one point or two points in the standings. What we do know is that we should not have had zero. Anyone who has competed at a high level of sports knows that when you put everything into a game, the result matters. And to have the result altered unfairly stings.

Colin Campbell spoke up for the league on Thursday.

"We didn't even look to go back and say 'OK, did something happen [with the clock]?'" Campbell, the NHL's senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said.

"When it crosses the line [and] you review it, you back the puck out and you see what the clock was. And the clock was 0.4 [seconds].

"And then after the game, minutes after the game, we see [it and say] 'Holy cow.'"

Campbell spoke further with the Columbus Dispatch.

"This is a tough pill for the Columbus fans to swallow, and we know that," NHL VP of game operations Colin Campbell told The Dispatch.

The NHL began investigating the incident late last night and has had multiple conversations with Howson. The league has acknowledged to Howson that the goal should not have counted, and they're looking into it further, to the extent that NHL staffers are on the way to Los Angeles to investigate.

"We're not questioning (the clock operator's) integrity," Campbell said. "But we're going to open all doors and examine everything, to see what happened and how we can keep it from happening again."

In the grand scheme of things, you figure this isn't a whole lot to get worked up about. The Blue Jackets are dead last and would probably be better off not getting a point or two in the long run to make sure they have the best odds come lottery draft time. Good luck telling that to the players and fans who feel robbed, though.

Where this could possibly be a bigger deal is if the Kings sneak into the playoffs by a point. They are currently holding onto the seventh spot out West, so if it comes down to the slimmest of margins, this will be remembered. Of course it's entirely possible the Kings would have earned the second point in overtime, but just playing the odds the Kings have the second most post-regulation losses this season with 10.

And I'll just say this: Before the conspiracy theorists start, save your breath. No way stopping the clock for that short of time could be predicted to be enough to allow Doughty to score in that spot. Any possible theory I can think of is pure lunacy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:47 am
 

Jackets owner in email: Action will be taken

McConnell talks to Chris Clark in 2010. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Talk about being reactionary.

A couple of days after it was announced that fans of the Blue Jackets were going to rally this Saturday outside of the arena in downtown Columbus for the firing of general manager Scott Howson and team president Mike Preist, the owner of the franchise decided to send out an email.

Majority owner John P. McConnell sent out the message to season-ticket holders, talking them through the tough time, more or less. Matt Wagner of Blue Jackets blog The Cannon just so happens to be a season-ticket holder and was kind enough to share the letter he received.

It has the usual stuff about how important the franchise is to the city, they are just as unhappy as the fans about the lack of success, yadda yadda yadda. But here is the most interesting excerpt for me; if you want to read the whole thing visit the link above.

I understand you want to know what we're going to do to fix this, but it is important for us to maintain a degree of discretion to prevent putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage. I can tell you action will be taken in the coming weeks and months, be it around the trade deadline, the entry draft and/or free agency that will be indicative of our direction.

Our goal as an organization is to build a team that wins consistently and competes for the Stanley Cup. Anything less is unacceptable! Everything we do in the coming weeks, months and years will be done to that end and everyone in our organization -- myself, management, staff, coaches and players -- will be held to that standard.

I am very thankful and appreciative of the dedication and passion you have shown as a Blue Jackets fan and I am committed to giving you a team of which you can be proud.

I will say this, I'm glad that he clarified action will be taken via trades, free agency or the draft. That's comforting. I was worried they might try and do something through less conventional channels like telepathy or voodoo.

But truth be told, what makes that interesting is that it reiterates that the Jackets will no doubt be a willing seller in the coming weeks. Rumors are still flying that Jeff Carter, acquired just this summer, could be on the move. That's great and all, but it's going to be very difficult to move his 10-year contract. However if they can find a taker, then he might already be gone.

Besides the canned statement in the email, McConnell also talked to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch with some more colorful and descriptive quotes.

“Every option you can think of is being considered,” McConnell said. “When the ‘nuclear’ option is mentioned, I cringe less now than I did two months ago. That doesn’t mean that’s what we’re going to do, but it certainly becomes a more realistic choice.

“It has to be pretty clear (by the deadline) which way we’re going to go. But one way or another, we are committed to improving. We thought we did this last summer; we didn’t, for whatever reason. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but we’re going to keep searching for the right answers.”

He also stated that neither Priest nor Howson are in trouble of losing their jobs, as far as he is aware (considering he's the majority owner, I hope he'd be aware of such a thing).

At this point the writing is on the wall, ceiling and floor that the Blue Jackets are going to be completely unrecognizable by the time next season starts.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 25, 2012 12:01 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 12:03 pm
 

Jackets fans to gather, demand firing of GM, prez

Columbus heads to the All-Star break 13-30-6. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

With four straight losses, the Columbus Blue Jackets are running away with the Fail for Nail campaign (for those who don't keep up on draft prospects, here you go).

The downside of that, of course, is that they stink. Like a dumpster that hasn't been emptied for a week in a sweltering summer behind a cafe stink. OK, that might be a little too harsh, but consider that the other four teams in the Central Division have at least twice as many points as the Blue Jackets at the All-Star break. That's almost unfathomable.

Former coach Scott Arniel already paid for it with his job but GM Scott Howson and team president Mike Priest? Well there just doesn't seem to be much danger to their jobs despite the organization's lack of success.

Now the fans have had enough. From the Columbus Dispatch, they are planning to take action, starting this weekend.

On Saturday, as the NHL stands down for the All-Star break, some Jackets fans are planning to gather in front of Nationwide to demand the ouster of team president Mike Priest and general manager Scott Howson. The summons first went out on the web on Monday night — right after the Jackets staggered through a 4-1 loss at Nashville.

Carl Bennett, a season-ticket holder since the franchise opened operations in Columbus, was particularly vocal.

“I feel there is a disregard for the fan base that comes off as arrogance,” Bennett said. “I am not saying these are bad people. I have been around enough to know that Mike Priest and Scott Howson are really good people, and they mean well. But they have had five years now, and they haven’t gotten the job done. I think it’s time to bring in true professionals who have a track record, and I am not alone, but it doesn’t seem as if anyone is listening to us.”

So they are trying to make themselves heard by protesting. Of course, if nobody is at the team offices because it's the All-Star break ...

Well we can't leave you without first sharing this quality quote from Bennett.

“I want to make this thing work like I want to marry Cindy Crawford,” Bennett said. That's such a great way to put it.

Getting back to the matter at hand, though, what choice do the fans have? The ones that have been loyal to the team obviously love hockey. You'd have to to put yourself through this many Blue Jackets games over the years.

I'm a firm believer in the majority of the responsibility for failure or success comes from the general manager and team architects. Howson has built the roster the way it is and they have the worst record in the league to show for it despite spending close to the salary cap.

Now how long before all the fans come with paper bags on their heads?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 12, 2012 7:04 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 7:08 pm
 

Umberger out indefinitely with concussion



By: Adam Gretz


Anaheim's Jean-Francois Jacques received a three-game suspension earlier this week for a hit to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger. During Brendan Shanahan's video breakdown of the play and his explanation for the suspension, he noted that Umberger's lack of an injury as a result of the hit went into his decision.

Even though it appeared at the time that Umberger was uninjured, we now know, less than a week later, that he is going to be sidelined indefinitely with a concussion that is believed to have come as a result of that play during Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Ducks.

Umberger was able to play on Tuesday night, Columbus' first game after that incident, and even scored a goal in a 5-2 loss to Chicago. As of Thursday, it's not yet known when he will suit up next for the Jackets.

“It’s a big blow,” general manager Scott Howson told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. “Obviously, R.J. is a big part of this team, and he’s a guy who has always played through a lot of injuries to keep himself in the lineup. But I’m glad he’s taken this step. We’re going to take it slow and handle it the right way, show every bit of patience that is required of an injury like this.”

In 42 games this season Umberger has scored seven goals and recorded 11 assists. He's not only the latest NHL player to go out with a concussion, he's also the latest in a long line of Blue Jackets players to be out of the lineup for any injury, joining a list that already includes Jeff Carter, James Wisniewski and Kristian Huselius.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Jean-Francois Jacques Suspended
More Columbus Blue Jackets News

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:20 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 1:22 pm
 

Nash might be willing to waive no trade clause

NashBy: Adam Gretz

Rick Nash is pretty much the NHL's version of Steven Jackson, the running back for the St. Louis Rams. An underappreciated great player that has spent his entire career hidden on what has been a terrible team, while always being a good citizen and company man about the whole situation, putting up with losing season after losing season with the hope that brighter days are on the horizon.

This season has been no different, as the Blue Jackets enter their game on Thursday at San Jose with the worst record in the league. Even worse, the team is off to the worst start in franchise history, an impressive accomplishment for an organization that's only had one winning season in its entire existence and never won a playoff game.

When you combine all of that with the fact that Blue Jackets general Scott Howson has previously said he's going to be active in the trade market, and the fact we're approaching the point in the season where trade discussion picks up a little bit (just look at what might be happening out in Anaheim), it's only natural that a player like Nash is going to be talked about, even if it's just rumors or speculation.

Nash is currently in the second year of an eight-year contract that pays him an average annual salary of $7.8 million. It also has a no-trade clause through the 2015 season, and Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch recently asked Nash if he would be willing to waive it if the Blue Jackets approached him regardin a trade.

“That’s a tough question to answer in a situation like this,” said Nash, via the Dispatch. “I love Columbus. I love being here. I love being a Blue Jacket. The city of Columbus deserves a winner and deserves a good product on the ice. If it comes to that — like you said, all speculation — but if they don’t want me here, they want to move me? I’m not going to do something where it’s going to hurt the franchise just because I have that in my contract.”

Not exactly an "I'm not interested in leaving" response, but it's also not a "get me the hell out of here" type of plea, either.

Nash is still only 27 years old and in the prime of his career. Trading him at this point would not only mean the Blue Jackets are giving up on what's already a lost season, but it would also signal the start of yet another rebuliding phase (or, perhaps more accurately, continuing the "building" phase). He's still signed long-term, so there should be no rush to move him at this point, especially during what's been somewhat of a down season for him offensively (why sell low?).

In response to Nash's comments, Howson told ESPN's Pierre LeBrun that the organization's "position on Rick has not changed," which would seem to indicate that he has no interest in trading his captain and best player at the present time.

Since joining the Blue Jackets as the No. 1 overall pick back in 2002, Nash has scored 271 goals in his nine seasons with the team, including a pair of 40-goal campaigns and four straight seasons with at least 30 goals.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:43 am
 

James Wisniewski breaks his ankle in win

By: Adam Gretz

It took until December 29, but the Columbus Blue Jackets finally won a road game in regulation on Thursday night, defeating the Dallas Stars by a 4-1 margin. Finally something positive, even a little bit, for a team that's been a large disappointment from the start of the season.

Unfortunately, even in victory things seem to be going wrong for the Jackets this season, as it was learned on Thursday night following the game that defenseman James Wisniewski suffered a broken ankle in the win. According to general manager Scott Howson, via Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the injury may not be one that costs him the remainder of his season, but he's obviously going to miss quite a bit of time.

Wisniewski was one of Columbus' big offseason additions, along with Jeff Carter, and was supposed to be the offensive-defenseman the Blue Jackets had been searching for. As has been the case for everything involving the Blue Jackets this season, his season had a bad start when he ended up missing the first eight games due to a suspension following an incident in a preseason game against the Minnesota Wild.

In 28 games this season he's scored two goals to go with 15 assists after signing a six-year, $33 million contract over the summer.
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
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