There was a tragic irony to Scott Howson’s firing as general manager of the Blue Jackets last week.

In May, Howson alerted Blue Jackets management that John Davidson’s time might be up with the St. Louis Blues, and that a window in Davidson’s contract allowed other NHL teams to pursue him. The Blue Jackets began sniffing around and hired Davidson as president of hockey operations — Howson’s new boss — in November.

On Tuesday, Davidson called Howson into his office at Nationwide Arena and fired him after 51/2 years on the job.

“I didn’t know it was coming, no,” Howson told The Dispatch Saturday in his first public comments since the firing. “But I wasn’t shocked by it, either, because you knew a new person (Davidson) was coming in and change was possible.

“Hey, I had 5 1/2 years here. I had a great opportunity. We didn’t win enough. And when you don’t have sustained success, you open yourself up to being replaced. It’s professional sports. We all know that going in.”

Howson said his conversation with Davidson on Tuesday was “professional and quick.”

“These things are never easy for anybody,” Howson said. “I’m disappointed, but I’m not mad. That’s not in me. John needed somebody in the GM’s chair that he’s completely comfortable with, and I respect and understand that.”