He survived last year's franchise-record slow start, the worst by an NHL team in nearly two decades. But he couldn't survive another.
Scott Howson, the second general manager in the history of the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise, at the helm of the team since June of 2007, was fired by the team Tuesday night.
Well on their way to a fourth straight losing season, the Blue Jackets have fired general manager Scott Howson. The move comes only four months after John Davidson joined the Blue Jackets as president of hockey operations.
Howson spent five seasons with the Jackets and made the playoffs once, thanks to Steve Mason's Calder Trophy-worthy performance in the 2008-09 campaign. The team was swept in the first round by the eventual Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings. Other than the playoff appearance, Howson's tenure in Columbus was spent mis-managing assets and negotiating flimsy returns on trades. In his five years, he finished 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th and 5th.
Before the start of last season, the Jackets and Howson made a big splash by signing a big-name free agent in James Wisniewski. He also traded the 8th overall pick and Jakub Voracek to the Philadelphia Flyers in an ill-fated trade for Jeff Carter, who spent just 39 games with the Blue Jackets before being traded to Los Angeles for Jack Johnson and a pick.
This summer, Howson made the biggest move of his career trading Rick Nash, arguably the only superstar the Blue Jackets have had, to New York for a pretty good package including Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first round pick in this upcoming draft. The return didn't help Columbus compete this season, as they've started just 4-7-2 in their first 13 games and are last place in the Central Division.
John Davidson, Columbus' president of hockey operations, formerly spent five years with the St. Louis Blues in a similar capacity. That team also missed the playoffs four out of five seasons, but in doing so, stacked the franchise with young talent that competed for a Presidents' Trophy last season. No interim manager has been named as of yet, but we'll keep you updated throughout the night.
UPDATE: 8:31 PM EST -- Per Portzline, the Blue Jackets' new general manager could be announced tomorrow. It reportedly won't be Davidson:
To keep up with the Columbus saga throughout the night, follow Aaron Portzline on Twitter. Uncle Bob McKenzie also has some good tidbits too, dropping Finnish league Jokerit manager Jarmo Kekalainen as a possible replacement.