Scott Howson Out as GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets

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By Joe Depto (@JoeDepto)

Following the team’s most complete game of the season to date, a 6-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at Nationwide arena, there were plenty of reasons to expect a status quo kind of day in Columbus, Ohio. Instead, the Columbus Blue Jackets made one of the most significant moves a team can make – firing its’ general manager.

Tonight, Scott Howson was officially relieved of his duties as GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening, ending an era of nearly six years.

In the wake of Howson’s firing, team president John Davidson released the following statement :

“Scott Howson is a caring man who gave everything he had to the Columbus Blue Jackets over the past six years,” said Davidson. “This was a difficult decision but one that I thought was in the best interest of moving our hockey club forward. I have enjoyed working with Scott and want to thank him for his service.”

Howson departs Columbus only four months over John Davison’s hiring as team president, leaving with just a single playoff berth and without a playoff win under his Columbus resume. The Blue Jackets went 173-190-59 during his tenure as general manager of the Blue Jackets.

John Davidson is expected to address the media at 9:30 am EST tomorrow morning. Via ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Davidson will not be taking over as GM and already has a short list of candidates.

Per Renaud Lavoie of RDS, former Philadelphia Flyer Ron Hextall and former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Craig Patrick will be among the candidates for the position.

Another name to surface in the ongoing reports is Jarmo Kekalainen, GM of Jokerit of SM-liiga, the Finnish Elite League. Kekalainen is currently in his third year of a five year deal with Jokerit, but he does have an NHL out clause. If Kekalainen turns out to be Davidson’s hire, he would be the first European GM of an NHL club.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that John Davidson is close to a deal with the Blue Jackets’ next GM and tomorrow morning’s press conference could feature the team announcing the next GM of the CBJ. Portzline is also reporting that Davidson had been considering firing Howson for an extended period of time and wanted to get a replacement lined up before doing so.

Stay tuned as more on the GM situation in Columbus develops.

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