directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Wednesday round up

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday round up

Former Blue Jackets Duvie Westcott and Mark Hartigan have signed with Dinamo of the KHL according to their web site.

At this stage of their careers both of these players are chasing the money. They've had their shots at the NHL with mixed success and if a full time job in NHL isn't an option its time to think about getting what they can out of the sport before their career's end. With the money the KHL is shelling out to try to get that league off the ground this move for these two players doesn't come as much of a surprise to me.

Besides, Hartigan did become the latest in the string of former Blue Jackets to get his name on the cup with the Wings last season - not to mention winning one with the Ducks the year before - so what's left to grab but the benjamins?

Jackets President Michael Priest was quoted in

When the Columbus Blue Jackets parted ways with founding president and general manager Doug MacLean last year, late-owner John McConnell replaced him with Mike Priest, a career financial guy who oversaw many of the family’s investments. Priest served as a liaison between the family and franchise management, but he never envisioned himself as a sports executive.

With MacLean out, McConnell decided to split the job in the manner that most franchises do. He asked Priest to find a general manager. Then he pressed Priest to take over as president.

“Honestly, I was a little taken aback,” Priest said. “My job, I thought, would be to find the next person to take this job — not to be the person to do this job..”

Though he had not managed the franchise on a daily basis, Priest was familiar with it. He met with sales and finance executives for updates every two weeks for two years. The night before he took over, he jotted down notes on aspects of the operation he wanted to overhaul, or at least tweak.

After 15 months in the job, Priest has become comfortable in his new environment. But it’s clear that he still does not think of himself as a sports executive. He is an executive who happens to work in sports. Were that to change tomorrow, he says he’d be able to move along happily.

“There’s an independence in that,” Priest said. “If the McConnells decide that someone else is better served to do this … it will not make a great difference in my life as long as they feel that I’ve been of value and can help in another way.

Those quotes don't strike me as a guy who is very excited to be president of a pro sports franchise. Very "ho-hum". I want some brains in the position but a little passion for the job wouldn't hurt either.

Good read in the Dispatch on Commodore and his hopes to stay in Columbus for a while. I like this quote:

"I didn't pick a place where I would come, lay back, pick up a paycheck and go to Buckeye games," he said. "I came to a place where I thought we could win."

This guy just "gets it". He's been signed here less that 3 weeks and he already understands this market more than most players who have spent years here. He not blind and knows the Buckeye's are the top dog and he accepts it and plays off it. By doing so he creates interest in himself and the Blue Jackets.

I also love his honesty about his contract. Again he's very transparent and knows he got a sweet deal and doesn't' apologize for it:

"I'll be the first to admit I got a very good contract for myself," Commodore said. "I know (NBC and TSN analyst) Pierre McGuire ran his mouth up there, which is no shocker. I don't set the market. If you take what I've done in the last three years and take my comparables ... I don't think by any stretch of the imagination it was an unfair contract."

Its free agency and defensemen have and always will be paid a premium. Sure we overpaid but if you want to be a player in free agency and hope to attract players - especially to a franchise with limited success like the Jackets - its certainly to be expected.

I'm looking forward to more Commodore. Of course his on ice performance is key and I have no doubt Hitch will play this guy to his strengths. However with a team and market still looking to find its way having a personality like Commodore in the locker and out in the community promoting this sport is a big bonus. also has a 10 question interview with Commodore so be sure to check that out as well.

According to Glen Murray of the Boston Bruins has been placed on waivers which is the first step of the buyout process (apparently there is a 48 hour period to buy out players -- news to me!).

Hey - even I saw this one comin! I suspsect Murray will be in a "Bertuzzi-like" situation and get gobbled up by someone -- be it at a drastic discount from the 4 mil he was slated to make this season.

Just a quick explanation on the Murray buyout. I did some checking into it as I thought the buyout period was over -- which it is. So how did Boston get to buyout Murray? Apparently if a player elects for arbitration like Dennis Wideman did for the B's - there is a 48 hour window to buy someone out even if that player signs before the arbitration hearing which Wideman also did.

That is all news to me but there you have it.



Skraut said...

Good to see Duvie and Harty back together again.

Anonymous said...


I just found your site a couple weeks ago. Of all the "blogs" I visit for my favorite teams, your site is the best. Very informative. Keep up the GREAT work.

I'm very excited for the upcoming season.


LTL said...

Hey thanks Dutchman!! Much appreciated.


Jeremy said...

Everyone knows the phrase "more cowbell". I want a shirt that says "More Commodore!"

I cannot get enough of this guy! Great pickup even if the price tag is a little more than it should have been.

Anonymous said...

I second Duchman's comment

Erik said...

I think Commodore and Tyutin will be solid players, and if Klesla and Hedja continue their solid play we should be really solid in the back.. Now if Hitch can turn around Backman we have a really solid defense...

Erik said...

Vermette to Vancouver?
Buzz is the Vancouver Canucks are interested in acquiring Antoine Vermette, the fleet-footed Senators forward who awaits a scheduled, July 31 arbitration hearing.
Original speculation had Ottawa hoping to land rugged defenceman Kevin Bieksa in return, but the Canucks laughed off talk of a one-for-one deal. Most recently, the word coming from out west has Vermette heading to Vancouver for former Senators blueliner Sami Salo.
The brittle Fin hasn't played more than 67 games in any one of the the last three seasons, but even at that Salo has averaged in excess of 30 points per - a claim no signed member of the Ottawa defence can make.
The Senators are in desperate need of a point producer who plays the point, which is why they'd likely jump at the chance to take on the salary of either Bieska ($3.75 million) or Salo ($3.5 million) when the guess is Vermette is likely to walk away from the arbitrator (if he makes it that far) with a salary in the $2.5-3 million range.
Problem is, if the Senators do move Vermette, exactly who are they going to be relying on for second line scoring?
With or without Vermette, it's hard to imagine new coach Craig Hartsburg keeping the Pizza Line (Daniel Alfredsson-Jason Spezza-Dany Heatley) together other than on power plays and end-of-game situations.

Anonymous said...

Lovin' Commodore already. Thing is, Finger's contract is the one that mucked up all the rest of the defenseman's contracts. Jackets were close to signing him to less than what they did, then Finger's contract came out, thus upping the price of Commodore. In the end, he costs what he costs, and I am happy to have him.

erik-as far as I know, Vermette did a lot of 3rd line duty. Silly to get rid of the guy, but if he wants out there isn't much you can do about it. A trade between Vancouver and the Sens (forward for a d) makes sense since Van has plenty of d men. It would be a good fit for both teams, imo.

We need to get Hartigan back! Every team he goes to wins the cup!!!

Mark said...

Commodore is definitely a character!!! He is awesome and I think he is definitely going to be a poster boy along with Nash for this team. I can't wait to see how many people put on a crazy red wig for the games or see how many blond short Mohawks are shaven on people's heads like Raffi Torres. GO JACKETS!!! CARRY THE FLAG!!!

Pub said...

Anybody think Commodore will wear an "A" this year?

Rick said...

Jeremy said...
Everyone knows the phrase "more cowbell". I want a shirt that says "More Commodore!"

AMEN!!! Time to get a shirt with Christopher Walken Saying " More Commodore!"


Anonymous said...

pub-I think Commodore with DEFINITELY be part of the leadership group, and as far as the 'A', that will be determined during camp. I think he will end up with it, however.

By the way, did anyone watch the bit on him on the cbj website? The things he described about both of the teams he went to finals were very similar to what I think we have in Columbus. They worked hard, on paper didn't have any business being where they got to, etc.

Arrrrrgh! Start the season already!!!