Howson Out As Blue Jackets GM; Kekalainen Named Successor
The Blue Jackets today named Finnish hockey club Jokerit GM Jarmo Kekalainen their new GM, after the team yesterday fired Scott Howson. This marks the "first significant move" by President of Hockey Operations John Davidson since he joined the club in October. Davidson said that he "mulled this decision for weeks" but "wanted to have a replacement lined up before firing Howson" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 2/13).
Kekalainen would be "the NHL's first European general manager" (TSN.ca, 2/13). He is an "astute mind and he and Davidson clearly share similar ideals from their time together in St. Louis," where Kekalainen previously oversaw the Blues' scouting and draft. Together, they have shown a "knack for restocking a bare cupboard and turning a moribund franchise into something vital" (SI.com, 2/13).