"I pretty well think I know what happened and what the outcome will be, so I'm not concerned anymore about the investigation. I think it's pretty much behind us," he said.
Government investigators have not completed their investigation, but have discounted Blankenship's theory that the explosion was caused by a massive influx of natural gas that overwhelmed required safety equipment.
Richmond, Va.-based Massey has struggled with two money-losing quarters since the explosion, which prompted a regulatory crackdown that the company blames for cutting production.
Massey's board named Baxter F. Phillips Jr. to replace Blankenship as chief executive. Phillips has been with Massey since 1981 and was promoted to president in November 2008.
Blankenship maintained a high profile, engaging in public spats with the likes of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. over global warming, lavishing millions on conservative political candidates in West Virginia, and accusing the head of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration of lying to Congress, among other things.
Phillips operates largely out of the public's eye. Since his promotion, Phillips has regularly spoken to securities analysts during quarterly conference calls. He's also overseen efforts to integrate the operations of Cumberland Resources, a coal company Massey bought for $960 million this year.
"Maybe the industry and regulators may deal with Massey and its constituents in a better, more realistic light. That's my impression of what the market is saying," Dudas said.
MSHA has not said anything about Blankenship's departure, but on Monday a spokeswoman said the agency has given Massey more time to fix a citation for allegedly impeding the explosion investigation.
Massey was allowed to send three investigative teams into the Raleigh County mine Friday and Saturday and again Monday, MSHA spokeswoman Amy Louviere said.