John Davidson fired Scott Howson on Tuesday.
Howson had been the Blue Jackets general manager since the summer of 2007. He negotiated trades that brought R.J. Umberger, Fedor Tyutin and Antoine Vermette to Columbus.
He also presided over the team during their only playoff season.
The 2011-2012 season started with a great deal of promise especially after Howson made a trade that brought Jeff Carter to the Jackets.
The Carter trade combined with the signing of defenseman James Wisniewski and the long term contract extension given to Rick Nash has Blue Jackets fans and the media believer the team was on its way to another postseason berth.
It took about a month for the bubble to burst and the unravelling of the all that promise to begin.
Wisniewski missed the first part of the season due to a suspension.
Carter was hurt early.
The Jackets suffered crushing last minute losses and a humilating defeat to Carter's old team.
As the trade deadline approached, rumors about the team trading Rick Nash began to bubble to the surface.
Howson called a press conference and announced Nash had requested to be traded and from that moment forward, there seemed to be two distinct camps when it came to Scott Howson.
One that thinks Howson threw Nash under the team bus.
The other that thought he had no choice.
Howson pulled a rabbit out of his hat when he sent Jeff Carter to the L.A, Kings for defenseman Jack Johnson. Johnson became more popular than Carter ever was by the end of the season. Howson got plenty of positive feedback to getting a player of Johnson's caliber out of the deal.
Then came the blockluster deal for Nash. The former Jackets captain sent to the New York Rangers for Artem Anisimove, Brandon Dubinsky and Tim Erixon.
Howson moved the team's all-time most popular player. He had no choice. He got three players who may as well have had "tremendous upside" on the their nameplates.
When combined with the acquisitions of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and hard-working forward Nick Foligno, Howson had found a way to generate buzz with this re-shaped hockey team.
Then John Davidson was hired as President of Hockey Operations.
All hockey decisions would go across Davidson's desk. All of them.
Immediately questions about the new hockey hierarchy arose.
How would Howson and Davidson gel? Who who make the hockey ops and player personel decisions that used to rest solely with Howson?
Davidson said late last month he was spending a lot of time in transition between St. Louis and Columbus.
Once settled, Davidson rolled up his sleeves and got right to work on the tough stuff.
His first impact decision was to part ways with Howson.
Davidson has spoken of changing the culture of the Blue Jackets organization.
Firing Howson won't do that in and of itself.
But, Davidson certainly gets everyone's attention by terminating a fellow team executive.
He clearly shows everyone on the hockey operations department who's boss. And he takes the first step towards saying what has happened in the past is no longer acceptable.
Surprise burned through the media corps and a few of the players who were making a public appearance Tuesday night.
Perhaps there should be no surprise at all.
Davidson has been charged with building a winner in Columbus.
You can't do that by accepting the status quo.