Posts Tagged ‘howson


Stralman Bows to Howson

Seems like it took some pretty important people to convince Anton Stralman that a job in Columbus was better than being stuck on the free agent market, in the minors, or *gulp* Russia.

In case you didn’t hear, Anton Stralman re-signed with the Jackets this morning just prior to the beginning of his arbitration case. The Dispatch tells us the deal is for 1-year at $1.95 million.

A very fair deal when you consider what he could have made. Although at that time I thought over $1.5 million might be a bit too much, but now that I’ve let it settle and looked at the potential cost of losing Stralman to free agency, the deal signed today makes a lot of sense.

DBJ reminded me about the flexibility this contract gives Howson when it comes to re-signing players like Jake Voracek, Steve Mason, and Jan Hejda next summer. And to answer your question DBJ, as I understand it, Stralman will again be an RFA with Arbitration rights in the summer of 2011.

Puck Daddy points out the strategy Howson uses to get his way with Stralman (certainly a strategy that should be used more often)

For those scoring at home, Anton Stralman now makes more than both defensemen Kris Russell ($1.3mil) and Marc Methot ($1.01mil)… although, and is the 8th signed Blue Jackets defensemen who played in the NHL last season with the CBJ…. Not to mention the 10 defensemen who have contracts and have yet to play for the Jackets…


In Defense of Howson, Draft Overview

With the 4th pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft the Blue Jackets made what was considered a bold move and selected Center Ryan Johansen. I sat somewhat dumbfounded staring at the TV screens in Nationwide wondering what the heck Scott Howson was doing. While the entirety of the Blue Jackets fan base made a collective “HUH??” Scott Howson and his staff made a confident pick of the player they viewed as best available at #4.

Firstly, Howson is not in a position to make a risky pick. As quickly as the mess left by Doug Maclean has been contained and turned around, the team on the ice this coming season will go a long way to determine if Howson will remain the GM of the Jackets beyond 2010-2011. Back to the pick, the last thing a GM like Howson is going to do is make a huge reach for a risky prospect.

Secondly, just because every writer or reporter who covers hockey for the Jackets directly, says that defensemen Gormley or Fowler would come to Columbus, doesn’t mean it has to happen. From the Dispatch to TSN to NHL Central Scouting, nobody but Howson and his staff knew of the intention to draft Johansen with the first round pick. I would absolutely hate to play a game of poker against Howson, he seems to get better and better at keeping the beat writers off his tail and from scooping a story before he wants it to be known.

Thirdly, maybe Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley really weren’t that special of players. The thing about the NHL Draft, much like the MLB, the validity of a draft will not be known for anywhere from 3-7 years after it has been completed. NHL Central Scouting had Fowler and Gormley rated #5 and #6 respectively and the Jackets jumped down to grab Johansen, rated #10 by central scouting, quite the reach right? Not when the Gormley and Fowler plummeted all the way to picks #12 and #13 to Anaheim and Phoenix.

Finally, the biggest difference between this regime and the previous management group is the process of talent development. If there was still a crazy man at the controls of the franchise, it would be reasonable to expect Johansen dressing up in Union Blue in Stockholm in October. Barring an amazing D-camp and Training, Johansen will continue to develop in the Juniors and minor leagues before his NHL debut.

Puck Daddy considers the Jackets fans to be “losers” in this draft… but then again he’s citing Bob Hunter’s (barf) article that put a negative spin on the whole situation. Wysh does give the CBJ a break, because as I previously mentioned, time will tell.

Here are all the Jackets picks from this draft, more information tomorrow about each of these players:

1st Round: Center Ryan Johansen (4)

2nd Round: Left Wing Dalton Smith (34), Right Wing Petr Straka (55)

4th Round: Defense Brandon Archibald (94), Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil (102)

5th Round: Defense Austin Madaisky (124)

6th Round: Defense Dalton Prout (154)

7th Round: Goaltender Martin Ouellette (184)

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