by PuckStopsHere on 06/24/12 at 01:26 PM ET
I have long argued that a well-run team should have its staff in place (GM, coach etc.) for the next season before they go through the draft and free agency that will help build the team for the future. In some cases this is not because it is crucial to have a coach in place to run a draft but for the buy-in that comes from being part of the process. A coach feels that he is part of a team and was involved in building it. He feels involved and doesn’t feel as though he is taking over somebody else’s team. This is valuable to any team. The Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals did not have coaches as they went into this year’s draft. This is a mistake for both of these teams and shows that they are not so well run. However we have another team that is breaking new ground in ways to be poorly run. The Columbus Blue Jackets finished the draft by firing four members of their scouting staff. Brian Bates, Andrew Shaw, Artem Telepin and John Williams (Williams was their assistant director of amateur scouting).
This is a move that makes no sense. If these scouts are not good enough to carry on after the draft they were not good enough to help run the draft. It must have been clear months ago that there was a problem with the Columbus scouting system. That was the time to make the moves. It is entirely asinine to fire your scouting staff immediately following the draft.
Columbus is a bad team. They finished in last place last season. The problems go well beyond the scouting staff and they are partly shown by the management system that would let this scouting staff stay in place for its most important day of the season and then replace them after the damage is done (if the scouting staff is incompetent). I wrote that Scott Howson must go back in February and he continues to give me reasons to think this is the only way that Columbus can ever become a competitive team again.
The Columbus Blue Jackets may be the most poorly run team in the NHL. That is really saying something because other teams face serious ownership crises (such as Phoenix) and do a much better job than the Blue Jackets do. Firing your scouting staff immediately following the draft is terribly incompetent. It is amazing that even Columbus would do that.
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