Skip to content

Report: Kekalainen likely to be named new Columbus GM

Feb 13, 2013, 2:08 AM EDT

JarmoKekalainen

Former St. Louis Blues assistant general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is reportedly the leading candidate to become the next GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

According to multiple sources of The Hockey News, Kekalainen will likely be introduced as the club’s new GM at Wednesday’s press conference, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET.

Furthering this speculation are reports that Jokerit — the Finnish league club currently employing Kekalainen as GM — will also hold a press conference on Wednesday, presumably to announce Kekalainen’s departure.

On Tuesday evening, the Blue Jackets fired Scott Howson after he spent five-plus years as the team’s general manager.

While hardly a household name, Kekalainen is held in high regard within NHL circles. He spent three years in the league as a player, splitting time between Boston and Ottawa.

He returned to Ottawa in the late 90s, serving as the club’s player personnel director until 2002. During his tenure, the Sens had a solid draft record and selected a number of key figures, including Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, Jason Spezza, Antoine Vermette, Anton Volchenkov and Ray Emery.

After Ottawa, Kekalainen moved to the Blues organization, where he worked as the Director of Amateur Scouting and served as assistant to GM Larry Pleau.

His draft record with St. Louis was equally impressive to his work in Ottawa — during Kekalainen’s tenure, the Blues drafted the likes of David Backes, Erik Johnson, David Perron, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund and Alex Pietrangelo.

It was also in St. Louis where Kekalainen worked with Columbus’ current President of Hockey Operations, John Davidson.

It should be noted that Kekalainen left the Blues organization around the same time Doug Armstrong was chosen as Pleau’s successor as GM, opting to return to his native Finland to take the GM job at Jokerit.

According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, Kekalainen’s in year three of a five-year pact with Jokerit, but is believed to have an NHL “out” clause.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes that Kekalainen would be the NHL’s first European general manager.

Latest Posts
  1. ‘Hawks 2011 first-round pick Danault told to emulate Kruger

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:08 PM EDT

    Phillip Danault Getty Images

    In other words, they want him to be a shutdown center

  2. Julien points to Eriksson as answer to Iginla departure

    Jul 24, 2014, 10:14 PM EDT

    louierikssongetty Getty Images

    Eriksson’s looking to bounce back after suffering two concussions last season.

  3. Booth eager to prove he ‘can play in this League again’

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:06 PM EDT

    NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 24: David Booth #7 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Canucks defeated the Devils 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Getty Images

    He’ll get a fresh start after struggling with Vancouver.

  4. Jets re-sign Ellerby despite not qualifying him

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Keaton Ellerby Getty Images

    He’s coming back after testing the free agent waters.

  5. Flames sign Ortio for two more years

    Jul 24, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT

    Joni Ortio Getty Images

    He started in nine games for the Flames last season.

  6. Vancouver signs ’14 first-rounder Jared McCann

    Jul 24, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

    Jared McCann Getty Images

    The Canucks selected him with one of the picks they got from the Ryan Kesler trade.

  7. Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract

    Jul 24, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

    Lars Eller Getty Images

    The two sides managed to avoid arbitration despite a $1.45 million gap on a one-year deal.

  8. B’s re-sign Warsofsky: one year, $600,000

    Jul 24, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    DavidWarsofsky Getty Images

    Alternately known as “the guy Boston got for Vladimir Sobotka.”

  9. Veteran NHLer Pyatt signs in Swiss league

    Jul 24, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT

    Taylor Pyatt

    Journeyman split last season between the Rangers and Penguins.

  10. Avs ‘confident’ they’ll reach deal with Barrie, says Sakic

    Jul 24, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Tyson Barrie #4 of the Colorado Avalanche and head coach Patrick Roy appear on the bench during their preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Colorado won 3-2.
(September 27, 2013 - Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Offensive d-man led all Colorado blueliners in goals last year, with 13.

  11. Isles, Poulin avoid arbitration with one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 24, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

    Kevin Poulin

    He’s likely to be the No. 3 goalie in New York this year.

  12. Bruins name Sacco assistant coach

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    Joe Sacco AP

    Former Colorado bench boss and Massachusetts native returns home.

  13. Avs hope to learn from ‘nightmare’ playoff finish

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Seven Getty Images

    “Maybe it just wasn’t our time yet,” Patrick Roy said.

  14. PHT Morning Skate: What to do with Niemi?

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Antti Niemi AP

    Thursday’s assortment of links.

  15. Babcock on analytics: ‘I love the information’

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    mikebabcockgetty Getty Images

    Makes sense for a franchise that frequently favors puck possession.

  16. Florida phases out ‘Lady Panthers’

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    They’ll feature a “skating-only” ice crew next season.

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1757)
  2. L. Stempniak (1651)
  3. D. Roy (1391)
  4. A. Rome (1239)
  5. C. Franson (1218)
  1. R. O'Reilly (1187)
  2. R. Nash (1124)
  3. D. Booth (1106)
  4. M. Ribeiro (1017)
  5. P. Subban (999)