Breaking down the 5 rumored candidates to become the next GM of the Blue Jackets

We're finally starting to see some names leak to potentially the vacant GM position for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Mathieu Darche

In my opinion, this is the kind of candidate the Blue Jackets should absolutely consider.

Darche was hired as the president of hockey operations in 2019; eventually promoted to assistant general manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Now, he doesn't get a ton of credit, because the roster that went to three straight Stanley Cup Finals (winning two of them) was mostly established by the time he got there.

But, he's been part of a winning organization. He's seen firsthand what it takes to get over the hill, and in recent years. Years that would actually apply to what the Jackets are hoping to become now. It would be hard for him not to soak up a lot of that knowledge.

More importantly, he's considered one of the game's best up and coming executives. Isn't that what we want?

Darche is also a former Blue Jacket, which earns him some extra points in my opinion.

Columbus Blue Jackets portrait
Columbus Blue Jackets portrait / Getty Images/GettyImages

My thought here would be this: if we're looking for an inevitable JD replacement, and the eventual plan here is to have Rick Nash take over as our GM in a few years ... why wouldn't we want to bring a guy like Darche on board?

If he does a good job as GM, he can be mentored into the President role. Then, when he's ready, and Nash is ready, you can promote both of them up the chain.

Doesn't that make a ton of sense? We could have a (hopefully) competent hockey operations department here for many years to come. With two guys who played in Columbus.

Sign me up for that kind of thinking. That's the kind of progressive, new-age decision that should be made here.

Lets look at two more names churning through the rumor mill. One of them is somewhat surprising.