How Many Years Left for the Jackets?

Chris Lauderback's picture
May 11, 2011 at 5:00p

The Dispatch published a report today claiming the Jackets lost $25mil in the 2010-11 season, their 10th in the NHL. I remember telling Jason when the franchise was born that I'd be shocked if they made it 10 years in this town. While they aren't gone yet, I'm struggling to see how they make it in Columbus 5-10 more years. That said, I'm not a big hockey/CBJ fan by any stretch (though I'd hate to see them go) so I'm curious what the rest of you think. Will the CBJ survive in Columbus? If not, how many more years before they relocate/contract?

I guess the good news is the team doesn't appear to be on the verge of cutting payroll and we all know cities will support a winner.

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Colin's picture

A hockey post on 11Warriors? Oh my. Growing up in a hockey family I've followed the Blue Jackets a good amount, and my brother is a coach for one of their AAA teams and sees players and coaches I would like to say I get some scoops. The obvious reason the team is losing money is that they suck and no one wants to go watch. It's mainly a front office problem similar to the Bengals'. A franchise won't accomplish anything if they operate on a small budget, so yes it is a good thing they won't cut payroll because that would make them even worse then they are now. 

With 2 different coaches going through the same problems it's clear the players are the problem and not the coaching. The GM is terrible, and really they have never had a great one. People hated Doug MacLean but he at least drafted players that proved useful. Scott Howson has wasted every first draft pick he has had, and he mainly drafts players who aren't ready to come in and make an immediate impact (like Rick Nash did).

I could ramble on about why they suck, but in terms of leaving town I don't see that happening just yet. The team may be losing money but the amount of money they bring in to other businesses around the area is pretty significant. Totally my opinion at this point but I see the city purchasing the team before they get up and move.

BuckeyeBacker98's picture

Their biggest problem financially is that they have a horrible lease.  If they could get out from under that deal, they could do OK.  If not, the team will be headed north of the border in the near future.

It doesn't matter how much money they bring in for other businesses, that doesn't help the franchise's bottom line.  And there is zero percent chance of the City of Columbus buying the franchise to keep them here.  Cities don't buy professional teams.  But the City could help out with the lease situation...and they should.

Colin's picture

The Blue Jackets won't move to Canada because there are teams in worse shape than them. The Atlanta Thrashers and the Phoenix Coyotes are the names being tossed around as the most likely to move to Winnepeg if any of them were going to, and that's still true even though the Coyotes were good this year. 

William's picture

The Indians and Cavaliers were terrible for decades at a time and they have never moved. The Indians at certain points in time had the worst attendance in the Major Leagues. Its rather simple, the management needs to spend to get good players. Rick Nash was an excellent get, but he needs much more support. Also the losses that the franchise is incurring don't affect the city since it is entirely privately owned, and the owners have shown that they have no problem covering such losses so far. Also the boost in revenue that the Blue Jackets provide to downtown is vital to the city's growth in that area. Simply put the team shouldn't move, and management needs to be willing to spend more to get good players. Winners always draw crowds. The Blackhawks and Penguins stunk for long periods at a time, but both teams have been recently rejuvenated, because both teams had Managers that knew what they were doing and were willing to spend to get good players.

Colin's picture

I feel I need to retract/update my previous comment. With the start of the new youth AAA seasons (I's May) all the communication between the coaches starts back up. The goalie coach for my bro's team is the same for the NHL Jackets, and according to him/other coaches and people in the organization, if the arena doesn't find someone to buy it they would be the next team to move (if Atlanta ever actually leaves to Winnepeg) to locations that could include Hamilton or Quebec.

So I was wrong, and I apologize. It isn't sounding good at all.