Columbus Blue Jackets have made a change in their front office by relieving Jarmo Kekalainen of his duties. John Davidson will assume the duties in the interim. Kekalainen was only the third GM in Columbus Blue Jackets history. His tenure started in 2013.

During his time as general manager of the Blue Jackets, he had a 410-362-97 record over his 11 years with the team. Columbus qualified for the playoffs five times during that time, only making it past the first round in one of those years. He leaves the Columbus Blue Jackets sadly at the same state that he got them in, not really competing. Kekalainen brought in some big names during his time and the Jackets were competitive for the majority of his time in Columbus.

Highlights Of His Tenure

The names of the players that came through Columbus were some you would never expect. The biggest name was Artemi Panarin. While his stay was not forever, it was impactful. Panarin really brought a lot of attention to the Blue Jackets as he developed into a star for the Jackets. In Panarins final year, the Blue Jackets went all in. They already had Panarin, Bobrovsky, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Seth Jones, and Zach Werenski. Then they made trades to bring in Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Anthony Duclair, and Adam McQuaid. You look at those names alone and it is a good lineup. Good enough to sweep the record breaking Tampa Bay Lightning in round one, getting Columbus their first playoff series win.

Other transactions during his time were the trade of PLD for Patrik Laine. While that hasn’t panned out like the Jackets would have liked, Laine is an elite player. The signing of Johnny Gaudreau was also a huge surprise for the hockey world as they were not on anyone’s radar. Again it hasn’t quite worked out either.

While Kekalainen may not have left eh Jackets in a good place, you definitely can not say he didn’t try to make his team better. While his tenure was long and sometimes painful, you have to look at everything he did for the organization and city. He made the Blue Jackets relevant. He got them their first superstar, then then their second, and third. Jarmo drafted well, he drafted star players and they stuck around in Columbus. When we reflect on the Kekalainen tenure, remember the good he did for this team. Remember the good.

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