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Blue Jackets fire GM Jarmo Kekalainen

The Columbus Blue Jackets fired general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on Thursday.



His duties will be assumed by John Davidson, president of hockey operations, while the Blue Jackets search for a new general manager, the team said in a news release.


“This is one of the hardest days I have had in my career as Jarmo is a friend, someone I have a great deal of respect for and someone who has done a lot of good things during his time here,” Davidson said. “While the future of our club is bright, our performance has not been good enough and it is time for a fresh perspective as we move forward.”


The Blue Jackets enter play Thursday in last place in the Eastern Conference with a 16-26-10 (42 points) record. They are 3-6-1 over their past 10 games.


The Blue Jackets hired Kekalainen, 57, as general manager on Feb. 13, 2013. Since then, Columbus has gone 410-362-97 and to the playoffs five times — 2014, 2017-20 — but has finished no higher than sixth place in its division since.


The season got off to a rocky start in Columbus after the team hired Mike Babcock as its new coach in July, then saw him resign Sept. 18 after he drew criticism for requesting players share personal photos with him in an effort to bond with them. Pascal Vincent subsequently was hired to coach the team.


The Blue Jackets next play Saturday at the San Jose Sharks.



–Field Level Media

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