Kekälälinen during the 2010 draft, when he was a member of the Blues' front office. - Getty Images
The Columbus Blue Jackets fired Scott Howson and seem ready to replace him with Jarmo Kekäläinen.
It's not every day that both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Jokerit in Finland's SM-liiga call simultaneous press conferences. It's also not every day that Jokerit's general manager is expected to be named to the same post with the struggling NHL franchise.
It's all happening Wednesday, when at 9:30 a.m. ET, Columbus is expected to name Jarmo Kekäläinen the third general manager in franchise history. He would become the first European GM in league history.
Kekäläinen played college hockey at Clarkson University in upstate New York before playing 55 games in the NHL with Ottawa and Boston in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He's held front office roles in the NHL with both the Senators and St. Louis Blues, where he was the director of amateur scouting and worked closely with current CBJ director of hockey ops John Davidson. He returned to Finland to run Jokerit in 2010.
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Davidson, who was hired by the Blue Jackets during the lockout-prolonged offseason, has been tasked with making Columbus' hockey franchise relevant. By various accounts, he took considerable time in lining up Kekäläinen as his replacement for outgoing general manager Scott Howson.
It should all be made official this morning, and hopefully for Blue Jackets fans, it will end a chapter that's lasted much longer than they ever could have hoped.