Former Blue Jackets GM could haunt team's playoff hopes

Blue Jackets players celebrate a goal against the Flames during NHL action in Calgary on March 29,...

Blue Jackets players celebrate a goal against the Flames during NHL action in Calgary on March 29, 2013. (Mike Sturk/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:00 PM ET

The Columbus Blue Jackets thought they were free of former general manager Scott Howson when they dismissed him in February.

But now, with the Jackets in a fight for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the "Howson Rule" could come back to haunt the club that sent him packing.

The rule, pushed by Howson three seasons ago, altered the NHL's end-of-season tiebreaking process, making a team's total number of regulation and overtime victories combined the first tiebreaker.

While the Jackets are currently two points up on the Detroit Red Wings and four ahead of the Dallas Stars for the last playoff spot in the West, they have just 16 regular-season and overtime wins, which trails both the Wings and Stars.

"Obviously, nobody knew we were going to be in this spot a few years ago," winger Jared Boll told the Columbus Dispatch. "We have to be a point better than everybody else. That's just the way it goes."

In search of just their second playoff berth in franchise history, the Jackets have also played more games than their closest competitors, making the ghost of the club's past that much more relevant heading into the playoff stretch.


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