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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2. The ability to retain talent beyond the ELC years...

I don't know that we can fully blame Jarmo Kekalainen for all of the talent that left here over his years as GM. But, I do know that we had our share of ugly contract negotiations, and at least in part, that pushed guys away.

Josh Anderson is one name that stands out in this regard. We know those negotiations were ugly, and he was definitely a fan favorite in his time here.

Jarmo's saving grace in a lot of these scenarios, was his ability to flip assets into other pieces and/or futures. But the next GM has to be able to find their core players, and keep them around long-term.

The inability to keep developed talent in Columbus, is a big part of the reason this team has never fully built an identity. When you're constantly churning through players that come and go in the short term, it's really hard to have any kind of consistency.

Now, I do have to point out that Jarmo being heavy-handed and stingy with his contract extensions, is a big part of the reason this team is in a great cap situation.

But, when it comes to extending an Adam Fantilli, or Kent Johnson, or Yegor Chinakhov, or Kirill Marchenko, or David Jiricek, etc ... we don't necessarily want heavy-handed. These guys should be the core of this rebuild. Locking them up long-term, and keeping them happy, should be priority #1 for the next GM.

They shouldn't act too wildly right out of the gate, though. That brings us to trait #3...