Woeful Start Could Spark Changes

The Blue Jackets, off to a woeful 1-9-1 start, may be on the verge of making substantial changes.

Multiple NHL sources have informed The Dispatch early Sunday that Jackets president Mike Priest has contacted Ken Hitch***** about returning as the club’s coach, and that former Calgary Flames general manager Craig Button has been contacted about taking on the same job with the Jackets.

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and/or coach Scott Arniel could be replaced by Monday, the sources indicated

At the very least, Button, Hitch***** – and potentially other candidates for either post – have been put on high alert this weekend.

The Blue Jackets, off to the worst start in franchise history, yet carrying one of the NHL’s highest payrolls, host the Anaheim Ducks at 6:30 p.m. tonight in Nationwide Arena.

Button and Hitch***** worked closely together with Dallas Stars in the 1990s. Button was the director of player personnel, and Hitch***** the coach, when the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999.

Hitch***** is still under contract with the Blue Jackets, due to make $1.33 million this season in the final year of his deal. He has watched several Blue Jackets games and practices with Priest and Howson already this season, and has maintained a residence near Nationwide.

This would appear an act of desperation, but Priest has always held Hitch***** in high regard, once saying that “Hitch hockey is Blue Jackets’ hockey.”

http://www.bluejacketsxtra.com/content/blogs/puck-rakers/index.html