Of relative importance to us here in Jacketland is that Doug MacLean has landed on his feet and taken a minor ownership role in Tampa. I read that the other day, and thought that it was good that he was right back into the NHL in some manner. After all, his passion for the game is undeniable, and having him in the league is probably a good thing. Well, it's at least no worse than Brian Burke pouting about the rules.
Then Doug gives his welcome speech and proclaims that he didn't like the Blue Jackets payroll last season, insinuating that somehow he didn't have the tools to get it done. Since he didn't have the resources, he lost his job. Because of that one season where his payroll was low, he was handcuffed to make any moves and was subsequently shown the door. Whether the payroll was 28th in the league according to Doug, or 24th in the league according to the cap and Aaron Portzline doesn't really matter, it was easily in the bottom third of the league, and Doug was powerless to do anything about it.
My grandad would have been thrilled to spread a load of such high grade fertilizer on his fields back when he was farming. Using Doug grade manure, grandad would have grown enough corn to solve the both the worlds hunger problems and produced enough ethonol to put the Middle East out of business. Where was Doug when grandad needed him?
Back to Doug...a couple minor discrepancies I'd like to point out in Doug's theory...
1) While in a contract dispute with Nikoali Zherdev, the payroll was pretty easily upped to land Anson Carter. Anson was a real steal, and even though I argued in his favor...well, I was an idiot. What a piece of crap, but the point here is Doug had the money to go get him.
2) After landing said POS on the wing, Doug then threw more money at Zherdev. So, after expanding the payroll by Anson Carter, he got to add to it more than he'd anticipated with Zherdev.
3) How much does Sergei Fedorov make? No, Doug didn't sign that one, but he traded for it, and it upped his payroll just a smidge.
4) Adam Foote.
OK, with those minor points out of the way we can get down to some other things that Doug may want to consider. Not the least of which is that he had 6 years to make something work in Columbus, not one season with a low payroll. He had 7 drafts in which to build the team, and although a couple reasonable guys were landed, a couple of real question marks were as well. Look no further than Zherdev for the first head scratcher. Vanek, Phaneuf, and Suter may have been decent selections that year, Doug.
Here's what really irks me...I went to bat for this guy online for quite a while, right up until I got sick of his BS about last November. I'm fairly patient with my sports teams - I'm a Reds and Bears fan after all - and my patience ran out with Doug. So, after years of standing up for him, supporting his decisions, and even seeing the upside in most of the moves, he turns and stabs me and the rest of the Jacket fans right in the back in his first press conference. He may as well have just opened with, "I hate Columbus because I got fired there," and ran with it.
I thank Doug for all he did on the local hockey landscape. He did a lot of things for the sport at the grassroots level here. However, he had the only hand in building the Jackets, and it's not his fault that they didn't succeed in 6 seasons? Somewhere grandad's manure spreader is weeping for just hauling regular ol'bullshit all those years...