Scott Howson

Former Jackets GM Howson opens up after firing


It’s been a few days since former Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson was fired by president of hockey operations, John Davidson and replaced with Jarmo Kekalainen.

Howson didn’t see the change coming, but he knows why it happened.

“Hey, I had 5 1/2 years here,” Howson told the Columbus Dispatch. “I had a great opportunity. We didn’t win enough. And when you don’t have sustained success, you open yourself up to being replaced.

“It’s professional sports. We all know that going in.”

The Blue Jackets are in their 12th season and have yet to win a playoff game. Early in Howson’s tenure, led in large part by goaltender Steve Mason’s stunning 2008-09 rookie season, the Columbus Blue Jackets advanced to the postseason for the first time.

“The ecstasy of actually making the playoffs, seeing the clock tick down and realizing we were in, realizing how much that meant to the players and the fans … that’s the moment that really sticks out,” Howson recalled.

But the Blue Jackets were swept in the first round by the Detroit Red Wings and try as Howson might, he could never recapture that magic. Eventually even the face of the franchise, Rick Nash, gave up and demanded a trade.

That was the setting when Davidson was brought in after having successfully turned around the St. Louis Blues franchise. Howson lasted mere months under Davidson before being fired.

“These things are never easy for anybody,” Howson said. “I’m disappointed, but I’m not mad. That’s not in me. John needed somebody in the GM’s chair that he’s completely comfortable with, and I respect and understand that.”

Howson isn’t sure what the future will bring for him, but he wants to stay in hockey.

Kassian sent to hospital after being involved in car accident

Scott Darling, Zack Kassian

Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.

The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.

Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.

The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.

A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.

“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”

This story will be updated when more information is made available.

Habs and Fleischmann agree on one-year deal

Tomas Fleischmann,
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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.

According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.

The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.

Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.

The veteran winger started  last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.

Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.