Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/07/11 at 11:17 AM ET
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The first way: The Jackets’ long-term plan, as evidenced by their current plight, is fatally flawed and the only answer is to blow up the operation and rebuild on firmer ground. The argument goes like this:
Howson has invested heavily to address longstanding weaknesses at center and on defense, he has made expensive, long-term commitments to young core players and the money is not well-spent. Howson has also gambled by not adding depth in goal, and the gamble has backfired….
The second way: The smart play is to stick with the plan rather than blow up the entire operation. The argument goes something like this:
The Jackets have had five coaches and four interims through their first 10-plus seasons. The lack of continuity is their primary institutional failure.
Howson has a young, promising team under contract. Healthy, the Jackets are a borderline playoff team in the West right now. Remove the top defenseman for a spell, then the No. 1 center — and then two top-four defensemen, the enforcer and two backup goaltenders — and it will struggle….
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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