OK fine, you can laugh a bit. But not too hard, because while Scott Howson’s time as general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets was widely considered just that — laughable — some of his moves are looking considerably better with time.
(By the way, this post stems from a report by Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman that Howson, currently in the Oilers’ front office, was recently in Vancouver to interview for the vacant GM position there.)
For me, Howson’s biggest mistake with the Jackets was rolling the dice with Steve Mason in goal. But to be fair, Howson did eventually solve the team’s goaltending issues by getting Sergei Bobrovsky out of Philadelphia. He just solved it way too late.
Howson also drafted Ryan Johansen with the fourth overall pick in 2010, and perhaps more significantly for his potential candidacy with Vancouver (read this), had some later-round successes with the likes of Boone Jenner, David Savard, Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson.
Having said all that, selling Howson to Vancouver hockey fans (translation: the people who buy the tickets) could be a challenge. His brand was badly damaged during his time in Columbus, and the Canucks are already a damaged brand themselves.