One more sign the NHL lockout will be a long one popped up Friday when players for the farm teams of the Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils, including a number of players on NHL contracts, were told to secure housing for the entire American Hockey League season.
This indicates management for the Devils and the Blue Jackets believe the lockout is not about to end.
Among the players told to secure housing were Devils defenceman Adam Larsson and forwards Jacob Josefson, Adam Henrique and Mattias Tedenby, who all played in the NHL last season. The four players, who are still on NHL entry-level contracts and thus qualify to play in the AHL, are with the Albany Devils.
The roster of the Blue Jackets' AHL farm team, the Springfield Falcons, includes forwards Ryan Johansen, Cody Bass, Cam Atkinson and Ryan Russell and defencemen Cody Goloubef, John Moore and David Savard, who all spent significant time in the NHL with the Blue Jackets last season.
The Blue Jackets are busy on another front, as they are expected to conduct a second interview over the weekend with former St. Louis Blues president John Davidson, according to The Dispatch newspaper. Davidson recently agreed to a buyout from the Blues and was first interviewed by Blue Jackets owner John P. McConnell and team president Mike Priest last spring.
One of the weaknesses of the Blue Jackets organization is a lack of executives with NHL experience outside of general manager Scott Howson, who is perpetually under fire for the team's woes. Davidson would probably take up the same role he had with the Blues, as the president of the Jackets' hockey operations, with Howson reporting to him, while Priest handles the business side of the franchise.
It is not clear if former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Craig Patrick, hired as a senior adviser to Howson last season, would have a role under Davidson.