Monday, June 4, 2007

Bob Murray takes his name off the list...

We may never know exactly why Bob Murray decided that the Blue Jackets General Manager position wasn't something he was willing to move for. The Dispatch hints that it was the fact that his family talked and decided they liked where he was better.

Some points that may have factored in the decision:

- The Murray family lives in Chicago. This would take a 3 hour flight home down to a 1/2 hour flight home. Which commute would you rather have in a family emergency?

- Murrays title in Anaheim is that of Executive Vice-President of Hockey Operations. He is not the GM or Assistant GM. That takes a lot of the heat off him for failures, and gives him a chance to have an active role without quite the level of public responsibility.

- The Blue Jackets have an established winner behind the bench that it is clearly there on mandate from the ownership. Any potential GM has to know coming in that he's going to be working with Ken Hitchcock and more importantly, Hitchcocks style of play whether he wants to or not.

- Being the #2 or #3 guy with an established winner with good young talent, or take a chance on molding a current loser into a winner? I get the feeling that the executives who will be most interested in this position are the guys who are up and comers without the experience CBJ ownership covets, or long established GM's who have never had a shot at the big chair. Murray is neither.

We'll see where this leads, with all sorts of possibilities coming back into play. Scott Howson, Asst. GM of the Oilers, has been asked to interview, and while he likely will, it seems doubtful he'll drop out of one of the most hockey rabid markets in the league to come to Columbus, even if he faces somewhat of a rebuilding task in Edmonton. While some fans would be loathe to hear it, I think this further points towards an inexperienced person at the helm. And while it still seems doubtful, it still leaves a crack open for the two in-house candidates, Boyd and Clark, to find a way into the seat.

As a final point, this turn of events would seem to limit the impact of the new GM upon the CBJ's selections in the upcoming draft.


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