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Scott Howson confirmed as new Jackets GM, announcement coming Friday

The former Edmonton Oilers assistant GM takes over a job formerly held by Doug MacLean, who was fired in April after working for Columbus since its birth in 2000.

The Blue Jackets had a record of 172-258-62 under MacLean and are the only current NHL franchise never to have qualified for the playoffs.

“I’m excited for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started,” the 47-year-old Howson said in a phone interview.

In Edmonton, he oversaw personnel decisions and contract negotiations, including salary cap issues, a skill that helped the small-market Oilers reach the Stanley Cup final in 2006 and could also help the Blue Jackets.

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Team president Mike Priest said in an interview last week that the Blue Jackets need to spend more time developing young players and to avoid older, high-priced players.

Specifics of the multi-year deal with Howson won’t be released, said Todd Sharrock, the Blue Jackets’ vice-president of public relations.