Three Traits the Next General Manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets Must Have

Since firing Jarmo Kekalainen as their General Manager, the Columbus Blue Jackets have cast a wide net to find a suitable replacement. Opening the door for as many candidates as possible is a smart move; and the right fit should have these three important traits.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The Blue Jackets want to make sure that whoever they hire as their new GM can build this team quickly into a contender. It's critical that they get on the winning track soon.

It's not an easy task, but there are plenty of pieces to work with here. They've talked about wanting to have someone with hockey management experience - though not necessarily as a GM.

That experience is important, because whoever they hire, has to be ready to step up and manage this smaller market franchise. Aside from experience, here are three things I think they should focus on.

1. Scouting/player evaluation and development...

This was Jarmo Kekalainen's bread and butter. He's a very good evaluator of talent, by all accounts. The next GM has to be strong in this regard as well.

While I don't want to see the Blue Jackets become a "feeder system" to the rest of the NHL, they're not traditionally a big attraction for high end talent from elsewhere (Johnny Gaudreau being the exception).

For that reason, it's absolutely imperative that they have a consistent flow of quality prospects into the organization. This is especially important if they do build this roster into contention. The next GM will have to be able to find and develop talent later on in the draft.

I will always stand by Jarmo's ability to draft players. That's part of the reason he leaves this franchise in a pretty good situation. But in the realm of development, things were far from perfect. And, when it came to retention, well, that leads us to our next key trait...