Earlier this afternoon, the Columbus Blue Jackets reported that Assistant GM Chris MacFarland would be leaving the org for a similar job with our beloved Avalanche.
MacFarland joined the Jackets in 1999, became Director of Hockey Operations in 2001 and was promoted to Assistant GM in 2007. He's been involved in many aspects of management including pro & amateur scouting, player development, contract negotiation, cap management and minor league hockey operations. If you want to put it in Avs Management terms, he would be very familiar with the duties now performed by Greg Sherman, Craig Billington and Brad Smith.
Word from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch is that he has had a diminishing role with CBJ since John Davidson took over and that role would be further cut back with the new affiliation with the Lake Erie Monsters. Their loss, our gain. Here's an interview with old friend Doug Plagens from a few weeks ago talking about Columbus' new affiliation.
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As someone with an interest in the Avs pro development scheme I'm very pleased about this. This is a very experienced and respected guy with skills in an area the Avs have had serious shortcomings for many years. Even with the gains we've seen lately, there's still a ton of room for improvement in pro scouting and development. This also gives me hope that the changes we all want to see in San Antonio might be closer to happening than we thought.
MacFarland's job has been loosely alluded to as being Joe Sakic's new "right hand man". A new voice from outside the organization, has expressed interest in the use of analytics to evaluate player value, has never traded for Brad Stuart or given him a contract extension as far as we know. Yes, this is a good step in the right direction.