Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Soon Howson--Habs Fire Gauthier

The ownership of the Montreal Canadiens didn't need to see any more.  Sitting dead last in the Eastern Conference, they made the decision today to fire Pierre Gauthier.

The move comes a little over 2 years after Gauthier was hired to replace Bob Gainey. 

Gauthier's Habs sit 15 points ahead of the Jackets in the standing and one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for 29th in the league.  But in a city like Montreal where incompetence is not tolerated, it was clear that Gauthier was a dead man walking, particularly after hiring an Anglophone coach to the consternation of his fanbase.

As Jackets fans, we have to ask how soon will our team's owners realize that after 5 years of incompetence, Howson should join Gauthier in the ranks of the former NHL GMs?

ESPN Ranks The Central GMs

"Ranking The Central GMs" via ESPN's "insider" paywall:

"It's one thing to build a contender from the ground up, which was the challenge for Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson. It requires that you have success high in Round 1, while finding a few pieces in the later rounds. But once you build a contender, it's another thing to maintain it. After all, players age or leave via free agency, and the window of opportunity closes.

Some of these teams recede back into the lottery and are forced to re-build. But others like the Detroit Red Wings and (to an extent) the Nashville Predators, have found a way to stay competitive for long periods of time -- and a huge factor is the draft.

Both Preds GM David Poile and Wings GM Ken Holland have been able to find talent -- high-end talent -- outside of the first round, which is pretty crucial because good teams generally don't land in the lottery. In fact, good teams often don't have first-round picks because they swap them at the trade deadline for immediate help. So proficiency later in the draft becomes fairly important.

The last few weeks, we've been ranking the NHL GMs based on their drafting history. (So far we've hit the Southeast Division, Northeast Division and the Atlantic Division.)

And this week, we're heading to the Central, where we run into five GMs in fairly different situations. Before we begin, here's a recap of the ground rules:

1. We're not simply judging the GMs based on the quality of players they have drafted. Because a guy with four top-five picks will always be far better than someone who consistently drafts in the late first-round. So, instead, we're looking at how well they've drafted relative to their draft position.

2. We know some GMs let their scouts make the final calls on draft day, but they are still responsible for the picks.

3. We're looking at drafts from 1990 to 2008. Recent drafts are discounted because the jury is out on the large majority of those picks.

4. Metrics are based on Tom Awad's GVT, which is an advanced stat that encompasses all aspects of the game.

And we're off:

4. Scott Howson, Columbus

Value added per pick: minus-0.53 GVT/season
Drafts: Columbus Blue Jackets (2007-present)
Top picks: Matt Calvert (No. 127), Jakub Voracek (No. 7)

The sample size is quite small -- only 16 picks before 2008 and 36 picks overall -- but Howson has added almost no value via the draft, which is a huge reason he is fixed firmly on the hot seat. Ryan Johansen (No. 4, 2010) may be his best pick, but he doesn't count in these rankings since we're not counting anyone after the 2008 draft. So that leaves Voracek, who was somewhat of a disappointment before he was dealt to Philadelphia. The other top-10 pick was Nikita Filatov, and we all know how much of a headache he was before being dealt to Ottawa earlier this season.

Otherwise, the only other player who has contributed anything of note is Matt Calvert, who was a good find in the fifth round. It has been five disastrous drafts for Howson, so it might be tough for the Jackets' brass to let him have another shot, especially in such a crucial year when they could have the No. 1 overall pick and perhaps more if they trade Rick Nash.
3. Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Value added per pick: 0.02 GVT/season
Drafts: St. Louis (2011-present),Dallas Stars (2002-2007)
Top picks: Jamie Benn (No. 129), Loui Eriksson (No. 33), James Neal (No. 33), Trevor Daley (No. 43)

Armstrong has never been the GM when a team had a lottery pick. In fact, the highest pick he's ever had is No. 26 -- yet he's still managed to find a handful of All-Star players, which should be applauded. He's been at the helm for just one draft with the Blues, so there's no judgment to be made there. But he did good work with the Stars where he drafted Benn, Eriksson and Neal -- all outside of Round 1. In fact, Benn was drafted at No. 129 and could end up being one of the biggest steals of the decade, depending on how his career develops.

All that said, Armstrong has managed to get only 36 percent of his picks to the NHL, and 17 percent of his picks have played 82 NHL games. That's well below average -- but it's easily offset by the high-end talent he's found without anything close to a lottery pick.

2. David Poile, Nashville

Value added per pick: 0.07 GVT/season
Drafts: Nashville (1998-present), Washington Capitals (1982-1996)
Top picks: Pekka Rinne (No. 258), Peter Bonda (No. 156), Sergei Gonchar (No. 14), Shea Weber (No. 49)

Poile has been doing this a very long time, and he's gotten better with age. With the Capitals, he had some strong finds like Bondra, Gonchar, Andrew Brunette (No. 174) and Jason Allison (No. 17). But there were also major failures, like Alexandre Volchkov (No. 4) and Alexander Kharlamov (No. 15). While his time in Nashville has also had a good share of failures -- Brian Finley (No. 6) and David Legwand (No. 2) being the worst of them -- he's found a way to not be reliant on high draft picks, much like Ken Holand in Deroit.

He and his staff have become great at finding value in the late rounds, nabbing players like Cody Franson (No. 230), Patric Hornqvist (No. 230), Martin Erat (No. 191) and Anders Lindback (No. 207). In addition, Rinne and Weber are among the top value picks of the decade. With first-rounders, they've done a decent job as well, drafting the likes of Ryan Suter (No. 7), Dan Hamhuis (No. 12) and Scott Hartnell (No. 6). Financial issues have forced him to part with some of these guys, but the core of this current Predators team has been built via the draft by Poile and his scouts.

1. Ken Holland, Detroit

Value added per pick: 0.416 GVT/season
Drafts: Detroit (1998-present)
Top picks: Pavel Datsyuk (No. 171), Henrik Zetterberg (No. 210), Johan Franzen (No. 97), Niklas Kronwall(No. 29)

What Holland and his crew have done in Detroit is nothing short of incredible. He drafted the two biggest steals of the last 20 years -- Datsyuk and Zetterberg -- which prolonged the success of a franchise that should've receded when its All-Star core was aging. In addition, the Red Wings have added key players to their lineup -- almost entirely without first-round picks -- which is pretty much unheard of. Among them are Franzen, Kronwall, Jimmy Howard (No. 64), Valtteri Filppula (No. 95), Jiri Hudler (No. 58), Jonathan Ericsson (No. 291) -- the list goes on.

That said, they take risks and fail often. But there's only so much ice-time to go around, so a few home runs will take you a long way. In short, there's a reason the Wings' scouting is legendary.

To be ranked ...

Stan Bowman, Chicago

Value added per pick: N/A
Drafts: Chicago (2010-present)
Top picks: N/A

The jury is still out on this GM until he accumulates a larger sample.

He didn't draft before 2008, so he doesn't qualify for these rankings. But he and his staff have had two great finds at the 2011 draft -- Brandon Saad (No. 43) and Andrew Shaw (No. 139). Saad, whose stock dropped sharply before the draft, ended up making the Opening Day roster. While he's since been sent down, his future remains bright. Shaw, who was passed over in the 2009 and 2010 drafts, has been a fan favorite this year with his tough style of play. Finding these non-first-round contributors should be an encouraging sign for Blackhawks fans.

Bowman's predecessor, Dale Tallon, was the master of using his high-first rounders wisely. But as we noted last week, he couldn't find value in the late rounds. The timing could end up being perfect for the Hawks. Tallon came in to re-build the franchise -- which, as he's showing in Florida, he's pretty good at. And Bowman is here to maintain it, and as Holland and Poile have shown, sustainability of success is much easier if you can find late-round value."

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Volunteers Wanted

As F.A.N.S. closes in on a milestone in its petition drive to have Mike Priest and Scott Howson removed as the management team of the Columbus Blue Jackets, we are calling on all of you to help us get over the top during the next two games and beyond.

If you are interested in helping to get signatures on the petition, meet up with the members of F.A.N.S. in their Stinger Green shirts at 6 p.m. before the games tonight and Friday.  We will be seeking signatures on the petitions before and after the games and need as many volunteers as possible.

If you'd like a petition to have signed by others in your free time or if you are out-of-town, e-mail us at and we'll send you the petition form.

Games like the last two just are not acceptable at this point in the franchise's history.  Dead last in the NHL isn't acceptable.  And Scott Howson and Mike Priest being maintained despite this pathetic showing is most certainly not acceptable.

We can make a difference, but we need your help!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

13 Point Challenge

Below is an email sent to the Jackets from season ticket holder Roger A. Schaefer of which he gave us permission to share here:

"I have put a significant amount of thought into the renewal of my season tickets, but wanted to provide some feedback from a die hard CBJ fans perspective:

First and foremost, the sincere lack of effort to retain season ticket holders is incredible to me.  To continue to reintroduce the same "benefits" to the season ticket holders, without as much as a telephone call is indicative of the lack of loyalty to those of us who have spent a significant amount of our hard earned money, for a far less than stellar product.

Free food nights, where many of us do not glutinously indulge, preseason parties with the team would be great if the product was worthwhile, and the players had a tendency to last more than a few months until the annual rebuild, and even more spectacular, selling tickets to the games with hats, drinks, mugs, and food for $35, makes those of us who paid full price feel a little short changed.  In addition, the PSL lacks any credibility.  Not only do we not get the opportunity to sit in the prime seats that we paid for (NCAA basketball etc.), there is risk that we may be moved outside of the lower bowl for the NHL All Star game.  I realize that the NHL drives this, but what good is the PSL?

Further, from my personal perspective, chasing a long time season ticket holder from the arena with a security detail and a Columbus Police Officer, for an approved sign because "management doesn't like it", then not so much as a follow up, an apology, or even recognition that your security detail completely disregarded my first amendment rights, is shameful.  As a veteran who served to protect those very rights, I am appalled, and ashamed that the organization gives such low regard to our constitution.  You, and your organization are a failure in this regard, and each of you should feel embarrassed.  It was nice to see though, that the recognition in the Dispatch, as well as ESPN, showed the fans disgust with the continued failures and lack of direction.

With this in mind, I find it distressing that the leadership of this team, after evaluating their performance, can comfortably continue to draw salaries from the organization.  I am certain that an employee of mine, or me for that matter would not retain a job if performance were as substandard as that of the leadership of this organization.  With that in mind, I would like to issue the 13 point challenge to the leadership and athletes on the team.  This challenge is indicative of the fact that no team has made the playoffs (at least in the modern day era, maybe forever) after being 13 points out of the last playoff spot.  Under this challenge, which formerly would have crossed the 13 point threshold in February or March, but of late has been more so in the early winter, rather than February or March (it was actually December 1st this year, the LA Kings in 8th place had 30 points & the CBJ had 17 points), the leadership of the team (Mr. Howson and Mr. Priest) will donate their paychecks to the worthy charity of their choice, following the passing of the 13 point deficit.  I would also like to see the athletes donate a portion of their salaries also, but understand that this would make Columbus an even further less than desirable market for talent.  Further, it would be of strong interest for the season ticket holders to be able to allocate some of our payments, post crossing the threshold, to our charity of choice.  These funds should not be reduced from team revenue (as other, more competitive organizations should not foot the bill for the CBJ lack of performance), thus ownership will drive accountability in the leaders that they employ.

I fully realize may be a little far fetched, and likely will not be given serious consideration, and maybe I am just venting, but I cannot stand by, dropping payments for this inadequately led organization.  

Mr. McConnell, it is time that the annual rebuild end.  Let's build a winner, your loyal fans have begun to dwindle, even reverting to organizations calling for a new start (see web page - F.A.N.S. =  For A New Start). We are ready; we are die hard, and want more than a slogan of hard core hockey.

Roger A. Schaefer

Account number 480467"

Very powerful and thank you for sharing Roger.

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.)


This was brought to our attention from a CBJ fan named Deanna's (pictured above with her mother Evelyn) facebook page:

"Well FANS I had entirely too many comments to add here so if youd like to hear more go to my page, all being said if you dont know me yet I STILL love my Jackets (why?) but I asure you from my side this is all said with love...

YET two interesting comments were made last night and into this morning Id like to share so heres In Case You Missed It:

1st: Flipping to the Flyers - Tampa Bay game intermission Liam McHugh (over on NBC) giving Highlights of CBJ - Wings game said "Hey did anyone let Columbus know they are already officially The Worst in NHL? Or did they miss hearing that?" (I have nothing more to add to this so fill in your own ___)

The 2nd: On NBC again this time on Post Game an interesting convo between Bill Patrick and Jeremy Roenick again describing same game using the words "Clinic, Carnage, Wings Rolled Over the Jackets, No Coverage, Goal Tending is Pathetic" as IF thats not painful enough they then proceeeded to HUMM CIRCUS MUSIC! Where Bill Patrick snickered and says "Oh were not laughing at you.." Followed by Mr. Jeremy Roenick comment of "YES WE ARE!!" (FANS again I insert a ___ for your own thoughts but I was wounded by the game and at again being the laughing stock of the NHL or all pro sports for that matter)"

The continuous mocking of the Blue Jackets such as this is happening every day, every where (including Columbus), in every hockey circle.  This franchise has become the butt end of every professional sports joke and it's unacceptable.

We, as fans, hold this franchise to a much higher standard and it's time ownership did as well.

The mockery must end.

Thanks to Deanna for the post and the picture!  Absolutely LOVE the original shirts!!

For A New Start (F.A.N.S.) 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dolphins Owner Ross Calls Protester To Discuss Team's Offseason Moves

Here is part of an article from regarding the reaction of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to a fan protest held by 25 Dolphins fans last week:

"A fan protest at Dolphins HQs last Tuesday “created a ground swell powerful enough to reach the top of the embattled franchise,” and team Owner Stephen Ross “reached out to at least one of those upset fans Thursday night,” according to Izzy Gould of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee “arranged the call” to 20-year season-ticket holder Jason Lawrence, who said, "I was nervous as hell. I was shaking, and everything. I thought they were going to be upset. ... It was the coolest thing I ever did in my whole life." Lawrence said that he “asked about the decision to trade leading wide receiver Marshall to Chicago for two third-round draft picks.” Lawrence: "(Ross) said they had been shopping (Marshall) for a couple weeks. Nobody would return their phone calls about getting him. If Chicago didn't take (Marshall) … they would have ended up cutting him very shortly after that, and got nothing" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/24).

SHREWD MOVE? YAHOO SPORTS’ Doug Farrar wrote the phone call was “an interesting gambit, but there's still something rotten going on in that organization ... and all the PR spackle in the world won't make it go away” (, 3/24). The MIAMI HERALD’s Salguero in an open letter to the team wrote under the header, “Dear Miami Dolphins, We Can’t Stand It Anymore!” Salguero: “If things don’t get better for us, things are going to get worse for you.” He continued: “In past years, you could explain the reasons for such struggles and get sympathy or understanding. But we’re not hearing it anymore. That’s what happens when people get fed up” (MIAMI HERALD, 3/25)."

Sounds awfully familiar doesn't it?

Check out the rest of the article here.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Interesting Comments

Here is an interesting comment from a poster named "Randall Scott" from Puck-rakers post the latest loss to the Blackhawks:

"Agents are evil incarnate. Whoever ends up being your top pick in the draft this year will be represented by Satan, himself. If you were the Devil, would you let your top client sign with this team? No way. There isn't a more damning indictment of an organization, or it's top people, when a first rounder says, "No thanks." It isn't hard to imagine, an agent forbidding his client to accompany your GM on stage, refusing to adorn the Blue Jacket jersey (yeah, I said jersey, sweaters are for Canadians) and cap, right there on national television. How humiliating. Of course, if you're blissfully unaware, what you don't know won't hurt you. Are you paying attention, McConnell? If you aren't, you better believe you're going to suffer some public humiliation, like you haven't before. Imagine your first round pick and his agent reading a public statement that indicates they will do anything, anything rather than sign with the Blue Jackets. Believe it. Then ask yourself this, "If Scott Howson and Mike Priest weren't the President and GM for the Blue Jackets, would they likely be filling those positions in other organizations?" No one wants your top two employees. Isn't that a good indicator that you have the wrong people at the top? Don't you think that's common knowledge? Don't you think that is hurting, and will continue to hurt this organization? There are more Jeff Carter's in this league, than Jack Johnson's. Considering the Blue Jackets rapidly approaching future, (draft picks, trades and free agents) and your administration's ability to deal with it, don't you think it's time to restore some respectability to the front office?"

Here is another one from "Inmy Dreams":

"Souring future generations: We sat behind a family of four at the Hawks game. The youngest was about four years old. After the first Hawks goal, she told her Mom and Dad that she wanted to go home because the Jasckets were going to lose. Out of the mouths of babes....."

And another from "Cbj_Nut":

"Well, that's one way to pacify the Blackhawk fans in Nationwide (and there were plenty of them). Just bore them to sleep. Fairly passive bunch even though they got to cheer five goals. I, on the otherhand, was bored to tears. I chatted with a few 'hawks fans and the reactions I tended to get was one of sympathy. They couldn't believe how pathetic the Jackets were and that we "put up with this". Great way to pump up the PSL/STHers to run to their rep to renew for next year, eh? "

It's up to you McConnell.


Friday, March 16, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

Below is an email F.A.N.S. received from Dan Kucsik on March 5th, 2012.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Dan Kucsik.  I have been a season ticket holder since Day 1 and currently reside in Missouri.  I have maintained my season tickets even after a move to Missouri in 2004.  As a lifelong hockey fan, I have hoped that the Blue Jackets would go from an expansion team in 2000 to a successful franchise and playoff contender.

After being both patient and extremely loyal the organization (being an "out-of-state" season ticket holder), the movement you are undertaking is more than overdue.  As an "outsider" living in Missouri and seeing the perception of the Blue Jackets and the management of the Blue Jackets organization from afar, it is very embarrassing.  Both Mr. Priest and Mr. Howson need to be replaced immediately and need to be replaced with experienced hockey people.

I am writing to you for a couple of reasons.  First of all, to thank you for your efforts in organizing this much needed effort.  Secondly, to offer up any help, and even possibly try to show up on site and give a "testimonial" from one of the Blue Jackets "Out of State" season ticket holders.  Hockey fans are passionate about their teams and I am a hockey fan.  We all want a winner, but more importantly, we want to see a quality team with a chance to win every night.

Dan Kucsik
Season Ticket Holder - Section 115
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Below is the response Dan received from the Columbus Blue Jackets after he informed his season ticket rep that he would not renew unless Mike Priest and Scott Howson were removed from their current positions.

January 27, 2012

Dear Dan,

My father held a longstanding belief that a major league sports franchise would prove an important catalyst in the growth and development of Columbus. After more than 30 years of effort, the opportunity to make his belief reality presented itself with the NHL awarding a franchise to Columbus in 1997. To my mind, it is clear he was right in his vision. With the Blue Jackets and the Arena as the anchor, Nationwide Insurance has brought vibrancy to our downtown in the Arena District that simply wouldn't have happened without the team.

That said, there is no question our on-ice performance is nowhere near what it needs to be. All of you are disappointed and many are angry. I and the entire Blue Jackets organization share these feelings. I thought as we approached mid-season at the All-Star break, it would be a good time to reflect on where we've been and offer some thoughts about how we go forward. We have taken actions and will continue our push to improve.

Toward the end of last season, we did a thorough evaluation of our team's strengths and weaknesses. From there, a plan was developed balancing our needs against our tradable assets. During the summer, we believed we executed the plan well and took a good step forward. Most people seemed to agree and we were excited for the season to start.

Unfortunately and surprisingly, we opened the season terribly and have struggled ever since. Disappointing is not a strong enough word.

I understand you want to know what we're going to do to fix this, but it is important for us to maintain a degree of discretion to prevent putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage. I can tell you action will be taken in the coming weeks and months, be it around the trade deadline, the entry draft and/or free agency that will be indicative of our direction.

Our goal as an organization is to build a team that wins consistently and competes for the Stanley Cup. Anything less is unacceptable! Everything we do in the coming weeks, months and years will be done to that end and everyone in our organization - myself, management, staff, coaches and players - will be held to that standard.

I am very thankful and appreciative of the dedication and passion you have shown as a Blue Jackets fan and I am committed to giving you a team of which you can be proud.


John P. McConnell

Since that letter was sent (which should look very familiar), Dan has not had a single follow up from anyone within the Columbus Blue Jackets organization.

Thanks for sharing your story Dan.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Sign Sunday!!

Don't forget to join us in front of Nationwide Arena this Sunday starting 2 hours before game time as we host Sign Sunday!  Have your voice heard as we provide neon green poster board to the first 100 fans or you can bring your own sign--we'll also have large format markers available to design your sign.  5 lucky winners will win the brand new #OperationStinger shirt!

We'll also be taking signatures on our petition to remove Mike Priest and Scott Howson and President and GM.

Just look for the Neon Green F.A.N.S. banner.

Volunteers are needed and will receive their very own #OperationStinger t-shirt.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

F.A.N.S. Sends Open Letter to John P. McConnell and Demands Change

This afternoon, F.A.N.S. sent an open letter to John P. McConnell demanding a change in the management of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The text of the letter is below.


John P. McConnell
Columbus Blue Jackets
200 West Nationwide Blvd.
Columbus, Ohio  43215

Re:       Demand on Behalf of Columbus Blue Jackets Fans

Dear Mr. McConnell:

As perhaps you are aware, our organization, For A New Start (F.A.N.S.), was founded as a voice for the fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Our mission statement includes a commitment to honor the community and fans of Central Ohio from all of those involved in the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey franchise. Based on the recent events surrounding the team and the franchise, we believe that the voice of those fans needs to be heard loud and clear.

It is with heavy heart that on behalf of those fans, we hereby demand the immediate termination of Mike Priest and Scott Howson from their posts as President and General Manager, respectively, of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey franchise.

This is not a demand that we have arrived at lightly; nor is it a demand based on limited facts or some mere misunderstanding.  Under their guidance, our NHL team has gone from a promising franchise with a devoted fan base to a perennial failure whose fans are quickly transitioning from anger to apathy.  At this moment, this franchise needs experienced hockey men at its highest positions of management who are capable of rebuilding this mess.  It is our fear that failure to act at this important juncture could negatively impact the franchise’s long-term viability. As Blue Jackets hockey fans, we cannot accept that possibility.

Mr. McConnell, ultimately the decision lies with you.  We have every reason to believe that you are an intelligent and reasonable man.  We are certain that in making this decision you will take the opportunity to consult with Craig Patrick and other men with experience in the management of hockey franchises to get their input.  We hope that, upon reflection, you will determine what we have already determined—that the best way forward is a completely fresh start from top to bottom.

In the meantime, to further evidence that we are not alone, we will be seeking signatures on a petition from fans like us that we will present to you at the conclusion of the season demanding the removal of Mr. Priest and Mr. Howson. 

Please note we will be forwarding copies of this letter on to various members of the press.

Very truly yours,

For A New Start

Rainy Game Day Special: Get a FREE #OperationStinger shirt!

We know it's the rainy days that are the hardest to get motivated, so we're doing our part to help. That's why we're giving away some of our neon green tees!

The first TEN (10) people to respond to our email address will receive a FREE #OperationStinger T-shirt! 

Winners must agree to wear the shirt into the game tonight. Shirts will be distributed in the arena district prior to faceoff. More information will be emailed to the winners.

We want to give away the hottest piece of protest clothing since the burnt bra, and it can be yours! Act now!

Tonight: LA Kings & Sunday is Sign Day

Tonight Jeff Carter returns with the Los Angeles Kings to face the Blue Jackets. If you have your green #OperationStinger t-shirt, please wear it to the game! Members of F.A.N.S. will again be present tonight seeking signatures on the petition to remove Mike Priest and Scott Howson. If you would like to help us by volunteering, we would really appreciate it! Contact us at for more info.

Sunday we have secured a permit to assemble in front of Nationwide Arena.  You'll see our bright green and blue banner and a table set up two hours before the game (4 p.m.) as we host a sign competition.  We'll be providing sign supplies on a first come first served basis, but you can also enter the competition with your own pre-made sign.  Five winners will get a brand new #OperationStinger t-shirt like the one pictured to the left.  Remember, as the Jackets have made clear, signs cannot be profane as profane signs will not be permitted in the Arena.  We will, of course, also be taking signatures for the petition.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We Want You!

As you saw at last night's game, we here at For A New Start have a lot going on these days. We will have a presence at all of the Jackets remaining home games. Its crucial that we get as many signatures on our petition as possible before presenting it to the team's majority owner John P. McConnell. And that's where you come in. We need volunteers for all remaining home games and, most importantly, Thursday's and Sunday's games to help hand out flyers and get signatures on the petition to remove Mr. Priest and Mr. Howson. Please contact us at to volunteer. All volunteers this Thursday and Sunday will be provided the brand new #OperationStinger t-shirt pictured to the left. These shirts will retail for $12, but you can get yours free by volunteering this week. Supplies are limited, so volunteer today!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

For Those New to F.A.N.S.

Welcome to the revolution!

You can get more information on what we're all about by checking out the Mission Statement page.  You can also get information on our colorful t-shirts via the links on this page--the prior version of the shirt is on sale now for $6.14!

And, make sure to look for our volunteers after the game to sign the petition to demand the termination of Mike Priest and Scott Howson from their respective roles with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Make sure to join us at future games including our big event this Sunday starting at 4 p.m.--Sign Sunday featuring a sign contest and t-shirt giveaways!

Also, feel free to send us any pictures you have taken of yourself wearing the shirts at the game. The more, the merrier! Check the CONTACT page for email.

Original CBJ Fan Protest Shirts $6.14!

Traxler Tees is selling the original neon green CBJ Fan Protest shirts for only $6.14 through this Sunday!

That means you can get yours in time for Sunday's sign competition in front of Nationwide at nearly half price!!

But act fast as supplies are limited.

Buy them here:

Original CBJ Protest Shirt

Monday, March 5, 2012

Welcome to the new site!

Last week was a pretty bleak week for Blue Jackets fans. We heard a lot of double speak, starting with the disaster that was Scott Howson's trade deadline press conference. Mr. Howson managed to top last deadline's press conference (in which he attempted to explain why trading long-time Jacket Rusty Klesla for two short term Jackets was a brilliant idea) when he informed fans that Rick Nash had asked the team to consider trading him.

According to Mr. Howson, he felt that he needed to be honest about the situation. Why suddenly he needed to be honest when this had all been known to him since at least the time fans were protesting outside of Nationwide Arena is unclear.

Rick Nash then met with the press the following day and informed them that he did in fact request that the team consider trading them for the good of the team and apparently the fans who have cheered him on his whole career. It doesn't take a polygraph test to tell that neither Mr. Howson nor Mr. Nash are being forthright with us each for their own reasons.

We here at F.A.N.S. prefer to be more direct. This week we're going to once again give voice to the Blue Jackets fans and let them have their say on the future of the franchise. Just as we opened the mic during the fan protest to any fan with the courage to speak their mind, we're going to open the mic again - and this time, we're turning all the knobs to 11.

We heard you loud and clear last Tuesday at the game. Nationwide Arena's security seemed to have noted too, as they attempted to remove one PSL holder with a sign that read "Go Nash Go - Take Howson With You". You can see them taking a look at his handiwork and calling for backup in the picture below.

The picture summarizes the season in a nutshell.  The team's star in the foreground, with a fed-up fan in the background, being watched closely by those carrying out the orders of Mike Priest.  The fan in question, Roger, later met-up with some of the members of F.A.N.S. who gave him a gift - his very own #OperationStinger t-shirt.

About that time, a fan was being chased by security in the upper bowl with another anti-Howson sign as the crowd cheered him on.  This led to some investigative journalism by Lori Schmidt the following day to clear up the policy on signs at future Jackets games.  Lori spoke with Ryan Holtman, the Jackets Manager of Communications, who stated:

“Someone simply holding up a sign is fine as long as it isn’t profane, overtly inappropriate or too big."

We at F.A.N.S. intend to hold them to their word.  We think that all Jackets fans have the right to be heard.  As such, we're going to be making several announcements this week, starting with a bombshell every bit as big as the one dropped at last week's press conference.  We can tell you this much - we will have a presence at all remaining Jackets home games.  As they say, stay tuned....