Finally fans in Columbus have some good news to really behind. Craig Patrick joined the organization as a special adviser.
Like his father Lester Patrick, Craig became one of the sport’s most respected leaders. He enjoyed an amazing run as GM of the Penguins in their glory days.
His hiring brings hope to a franchise that is struggling mightily under current GM Scott Howson.
“I’ve been out (of the NHL) since April ’06, but I’ve been paying attention because that is what hockey guys do,” Patrick told the Columbus Dispatch. “The urge to come back has always been there. For the last three years I really wanted to get back in. Very few teams have such opportunities for experienced people to come in a help out. When I got to Pittsburgh, I did it – I hired Scotty Bowman and Bob Johnson, and it worked out great. It’s a great thing to do.
“I’ve been trying to get back in the game for a while and I’m just thrilled Scott gave me the opportunity to help this organization out. I’m very anxious to get started.”
For now, anyway, Patrick will work from his Pittsburgh home while doing a LOT of scouting and assessing. Should this franchise decide to make major team-altering trades, his input could prevent the beleaguered Howson from making a major mistake.
Could Patrick help save Howson’s job? Perhaps, because the Blue Jackets aren’t eager to eat more hockey staff salary the expensive departure of Ken Hitchcock.