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Entries with the tag: jarmo kekalainen

Custance: Ryan Murray, not Sergei Bobrovsky, is the Blue Jackets’ ‘most important player’

ESPN's Craig Custance continues his survey of the NHL's 30 teams' "best players" by examining the Columbus Blue Jackets' franchise player today:

Blue Jackets' Most Important Player: Ryan Murray, Defenseman

It’s no secret that the Columbus Blue Jackets will likely be toast if goalie Sergei Bobrovsky isn’t healthy all season and playing to his high standard. So let’s get that out of the way first.

Assuming Bobrovsky reaches those expectations, the ceiling for this Blue Jackets team is excitingly high for a franchise that is still looking for its first playoff series win. The development and health of defenseman Ryan Murray will dictate just how high that ceiling is this season.

General manager Jarmo Kekalainen has built the forward group into one of the deepest in the East, with the addition of Brandon Saad making a solid group potentially great. He inherited a franchise goalie in Bobrovsky from former GM Scott Howson.

The defense? Well, that’s a work in progress. As it stands, the bluelines of division rivals New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders and Washington Capitals are deeper and more talented. Even landing one of the veteran free agent defensemen stragglers won’t change that.

Custance continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+saad, jarmo+kekalainen, ryan+murray, sergei+bobrovsky

Garrioch delivers holiday trade rumors

The NHL's roster freeze may be in effect until December 27th, but the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch brings trade rumor gifts to the hockey holiday tree via his Sunday column.

First, Garrioch discusses Nick Foligno's future with the Columbus Blue Jackets given his point-per-game form...

Making $3.08 million in the final year of his contract, some wonder if a five-year, $25-million deal would get it done for Foligno. Probably not — the thinking is he’d be able to eclipse that number on the lucrative free-agent market.

You have to think Foligno is looking at the seven-year, $36.75-million deal that David Clarkson signed with the Leafs at $5.25 million per season in 2013-14 as a benchmark. The Jackets aren’t sure if Nathan Horton will ever return from his back issues, so they want to keep Foligno badly.

These quips aren't surprising...

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+sekera, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, chris+stewart, columbus+blue+jackets, don+maloney, jarmo+kekalainen, keith+yandle, nick+foligno, phoenix+coyotes, ron+francis, tim+murray, tyler+myers

Morning Line

"I'm really proud about the effort, the no-quit in our team and the identity we've established. Now the Blue Jackets are known through the League for the identity we've built, which is a hard-working, hard-to-play-against, no quit, blue-collar team. I'm really proud of that.

"But let's not be satisfied here. It makes me really excited about the players we have, the potential we have."

-Jarmo Kekalainen, GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets.  More on the Blue Jackets from Craig Merz at NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarmo+kekalainen

All Jarmo Kekalainen

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

Q. Do you feel like you’ve got a team in that dressing room that can compete?

A. Yeah, absolutely. I still believe in this team. It’s the same team that went 19-5-5 last year, with the addition of a couple of good, young players (Ryan Murray, Boone Jenner) that we’ve added. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to do the same things as last year. But the biggest difference right now is that last year’s team was playing together, was competing hard every night. We were a hard team to play against, playing defensively a really tight game, smart, doing all the little things right. Right now it’s not there. This league is too good. You can’t have that. You can’t expect to go out and play like we did against Edmonton in the first period and expect good results. I’m not even talking about the goals, or the 7-0, but the way we came out of the gate in the first period. It was just unacceptable.

Q. Is this in any way a coaching issue?

A. No. (chuckles) We still have the same coaches we had last year, and they had the team playing very disciplined, very hard-working. It’s up to the players to look in the mirror and see if they can play the game the same way they did last year. It’s about the individual.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarmo+kekalainen

Columbus Names Jarmo Kekalainen As Their New GM

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with Jarmo Kekalainen to serve as the club’s general manager, Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson announced today.  Kekalainen, who has been the president and general manager of Jokerit in the Finnish Elite League since 2010, becomes the third general manager in Blue Jackets history.    

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarmo+kekalainen

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