The Jarmo Kekalainen Era
The Jarmo Kekalainen era for the Columbus Blue Jackets would start off with a bang seemingly, he signed star free agent Nathan Horton his first off-season as general manager. Unfortunately a freak back injury would result in Horton’s playing career coming to an end sooner than expected and he’d only play one season with the Blue Jackets.
It’s also worth mentioning, at the trade deadline in the 2012-2013 season he acquired Marian Gaborik in a deal that wouldn’t really work out for the Blue Jackets.
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The first major trade took place on June 23rd, 2014 though, when the Blue Jackets acquired Scott Hartnell from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for RJ Umberger and a mid round draft pick.
Kekalainen wasn’t afraid to make moves though, as he’d acquire Brandon Saad from the Chicago Blackhawks among other pieces for Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano and some other assets in 2015. Prior to the 2015-2016 season, Nick Foligno would be named captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Shortly after that, Todd Richards’ tenure would come to an end as the 2015-2016 season would start with an 0-8-0 record with Richards being replaced by John Tortorella after the seventh loss.
In January 2016, the Blue Jackets would trade star forward Ryan Johansen to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Seth Jones who has since become a top defenseman in the NHL. The failure of the 2015-2016 season would be a blessing in disguise for the organization however, as they’d be able to draft Pierre-Luc Dubois third overall in the NHL Entry Draft.
In June 2017, Brandon Saad would be traded back to the Blackhawks in exchange for star forward Artemi Panarin in a four player, two draft pick deal.
Starting with the the 2016-2017 season, they’ve made the playoffs every season however they are constantly being eliminated in the first round. They still have yet to win a round in the post-season in franchise history.