Monday, February 18, 2013
1) The first, and in my opinion most important move new president John Davidson has made is to can the failed GM Scott Howson, and to hire the well regarded Jarmo Kekalainen. Kekalainen, who has been the president and general manager of Jokerit in the Finnish Elite League since 2010, becomes the third general manager in Blue Jackets history. Succeeding Paul McClean and Scott Howson. Both of whom failed miserably. The Jackets have made the playoffs ONCE n their history and are still waiting to win their first playoff game. All despite a seemingly annual lottery pick, and interminable "rebuilds". With the fan base restless/eroding, ownership brought in John Davidson earlier. He is lauded as having turned around the Blues(with the help of Kekalainen who served as asst GM).
2) On his resume, he most recently served as the Blues assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting and was involved in all facets of hockey operations, including professional scouting efforts and overseeing the club’s amateur scouting and draft preparations. During his eight years in St. Louis, the Blues drafted players such as David Backes, Roman Polak, David Perron, T.J. Oshie, Patrick Berglund and Alex Pietrangelo. Unlike some GM's who have questionable experience running a business Kekalainen owns a bachelor’s degree in management from Clarkson University and earned a master’s in business marketing from the University of Tampere. So he's no dummy! WE wish the Finn all the best in trying to turn around the moribund franchise into a winner. We feel that its very possible we'll see the Jackets finally rise to prominence and become a competitive, if not top notch team with Davidson and Kekalainen at the helm. Its too bad for the fans of Columbus they had to wait so long for professional/competent hockey people to take over their team. (Are you listening Washington, NY Islanders, Toronto, and Calgary?)