Feb 13, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT
Kekalainen’s most recent job was as the general manager for Jokerit of the Finnish league, but he also has extensive experience in the NHL. He was the Ottawa Senators’ player personnel director in the late 90s and early 21st century. During his tenure, the Senators drafted Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, and Jason Spezza.
He was later the director of amateur scouting in St. Louis when the Blues were drafting many vital pieces of their franchise, including Alex Pietrangelo and David Backes. During his tenure with St. Louis, Kekalainen worked with the Columbus Blue Jackets current president of hockey operations, John Davidson.
“Jarmo is a person with a world of experience,” Davidson said in Wednesday’s press conference. “He’s very intelligent about the world of hockey. He’s very excited.”
Kekalainen will take over a team with some great prospects, but a history of disappointment. The Blue Jackets are playing in their 12th NHL season and they have never won a playoff game. They don’t appear close to changing that either after trading the former face of their franchise, Rick Nash, over the summer.
That being said, the Blue Jackets have already accumulated three first-round picks for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, so Kekalainen will have an opportunity to breathe new life into the team’s rebuilding efforts.
“The Blue Jackets will be built through drafting and player development,” Davidson said. “It’s all part and parcel of how it’ll work going forward.”
He’s also the first European general manager, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted.
May 26, 2013, 10:50 PM EDT
Will this impact the 2013 NHL Draft a bit?
May 26, 2013, 10:47 PM EDT
Will the home team will every time?
May 26, 2013, 10:44 PM EDT
Notice he didn’t say “cheaper”?
May 26, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT
While the Kings hit posts.
May 26, 2013, 8:56 PM EDT
He returned to the bench in the same period.
May 26, 2013, 8:44 PM EDT
Coaching searches heat up.
May 26, 2013, 8:10 PM EDT
Meanwhile, Jason Demers makes room for Adam Burish.
May 26, 2013, 7:18 PM EDT
Unless he eats tainted meat.
May 26, 2013, 6:04 PM EDT
He says Hockey Canada “will be sorry.”
May 26, 2013, 4:53 PM EDT
Expect this to be a story line throughout.
May 26, 2013, 4:01 PM EDT
Does this affect where he gets drafted?
May 26, 2013, 3:21 PM EDT
They have three first-round picks this year.
May 26, 2013, 1:57 PM EDT
It’s all about finding the “back door.”
May 26, 2013, 12:38 PM EDT
He’s had it on since returning from a broken jaw.
May 26, 2013, 11:31 AM EDT
One simple statement is all it took.
May 26, 2013, 10:51 AM EDT
L.A. would like to win one on the road.
May 26, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT
It could be a big summer for the Stars.
May 25, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
It might be tough to gauge the right price for him.
May 25, 2013, 11:37 PM EDT
That phrase is more fun than “turning the other cheek.”
May 25, 2013, 11:17 PM EDT
Just ask Bryan Bickell.
- Discuss: Sharks push series to Game 7 0
- Report: Stars meet with Lindy Ruff, contact Alain Vigneault 1
- Bruins GM Chiarelli sticks to his guns over Jagr-Iginla debate 19
- Playoffs tonight: Sharks look to force a Game 7 with Kings 4
- Discuss: Blackhawks push series to Game 6 41
- Report: Canucks ask Leafs permission to interview Eakins for head coaching gig 0
- Tortorella takes blame for top players’ struggles 30
- Discuss: Bruins finish off Rangers in Game 5 57
- Brassard says Marchand ‘doesn’t show any respect for his opponents’ 71
- Playoffs tonight: Bruins and Red Wings look to finish things in Game 5 7
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (114)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (102)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win (87)
- Watch LIVE: Sharks-Kings, Game 6
- LIVE: Pacers, Heat jockey for series lead
- MST: Kanaan wins 97th Indianapolis 500
- PBT: Will the real Dwyane Wade please stand up?
- PBT: Popovich pulls all the right strings in Game 3
- Golf: Weekley wins first title since 2008 at Colonial
- Roger Clemens still dogged by NY steroids case