Wednesday round up

Light the LampSenior Writer IJuly 23, 2008
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 thesportsbusinessjournal.com

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.

Bluejackets.nhl.tv also has a 10 question interview with Commodore so be sure to check that out as well.

Update:
According to Boston.com 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.
Update: 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.
-LTL

Related

    Columbus Blue Jackets 3 Keys in Philadelphia Flyers Matchup

    Columbus Blue Jackets logo
    Columbus Blue Jackets

    Columbus Blue Jackets 3 Keys in Philadelphia Flyers Matchup

    Union and Blue
    via Union and Blue

    Flyers, Jackets aim to find footing

    Columbus Blue Jackets logo
    Columbus Blue Jackets

    Flyers, Jackets aim to find footing

    ESPN
    via ESPN

    Who's playing for the Bruins tonight against Edmonton?

    Boston Bruins logo
    Boston Bruins

    Who's playing for the Bruins tonight against Edmonton?

    Stanley Cup of Chowder
    via Stanley Cup of Chowder

    Blue Jackets: John Tortorella wants consistency defending odd-man rushes

    Columbus Blue Jackets logo
    Columbus Blue Jackets

    Blue Jackets: John Tortorella wants consistency defending odd-man rushes

    Brian Hedger
    via The Columbus Dispatch