APRIL 28, 2021
COLUMBUS, OHIO — Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen has been named assistant general manager of Finland’s national team for the 2022 Olympic Games, the Finnish Ice Hockey Association and Blue Jackets announced today. Kekalainen will assist Jere Lehtinen in the selection of players that will represent Finland when it begins play at the 2022 Winter Olympics held in Beijing, China.
A native of Kuopio, Finland, Kekalainen previously served as assistant general manager for Finland’s World Cup of Hockey 2016 team. He also served in the same capacity at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, where the squad won the bronze medal.
Kekalainen was named the third general manager in Blue Jackets history on Feb. 13, 2013, becoming the first European-born general manager in NHL history. Since his arrival, the club has enjoyed the best on-ice stretch in Blue Jackets history, posting their four winningest seasons based on points percentage from 2016-20. Columbus has also registered 42-plus wins in five of the past six full campaigns and earned five postseason berths during his tenure.
Prior to joining the Blue Jackets organization, Kekalainen served as the president and general manager of Jokerit in the Finnish Elite League from 2010-13. He also spent eight seasons with the St. Louis Blues from 2002-10, joining the club as director of amateur scouting and being named assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting in 2005. Kekalainen was a member of the Ottawa Senators organization from 1995-2002 where he served as director of player personnel for three years and oversaw the amateur draft and the club’s scouting efforts in Europe. He also served as general manager of IFK Helsinki in the Finnish Elite League from 1995-99.
The Blue Jackets return to action on Saturday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes. Puck drop from PNC Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on Bally Sports Ohio begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. The game may also be heard on the Eldorado Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, including Sports Radio 97.1 FM in Columbus, and online at BlueJackets.com.
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