At the press conference where he was announced as the man who will lead the Columbus Blue Jackets next season, coach Todd Richards said that at the end of this past season, the team was running a system pretty close to what he hopes to use in 2012-2013…
But he also said this:
“Now there are certain things and ways that I would like to see the team play, but a lot of times identity is created by the personnel that you have and the commitment of the players to play a certain way. Hopefully that will be decided by October.”
That’s the right attitude for a coach to take. Football fans will remember that Jim Tressel had a similar philosophy with the Buckeyes. He would play to the strength of his players.
Management, however, needs a clear idea of the type of players they want to bring in, and the type of character they want to develop.
Richards comments intimate they he doesn’t know yet which direction management is going to go.
GM Scott Howson hinted, however, that they’re looking to keep the opposition off the board first and foremost.
Asked what he’s picked up from watching this year’s postseason, Howson said, “We’re certainly learning how close the league is, and how hard it is to score, and I guess that you don’t have score a lot to win in the playoffs.”
That’s a 180 from what Blue Jackets fans were hearing one year ago, when former coach Scott Arniel was talking about his high tempo, aggressive style.
But it’s not the only major change the organization is looking at possibly making.
“The expectations have been too low around here, and that goes not only for the players and coaches, but for management and everybody else,” Howson told the Columbus Dispatch. “We have to raise the bar.”
So when you hear the team talk about “reshaping” rather than “rebuilding,” remember that’s only part of the picture.
For this to work moving forward, it’s going to have to be Extreme Makeover: Blue Jackets edition.