Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen made waves on the commerce deadline final season when he determined to go all-in. This moved shocked many across the hockey world. With pending unrestricted free brokers to be in Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin not keen to barter an extension, the thought was get one thing for them earlier than dropping them for nothing.
As a substitute, Kekalainen went big-game purchasing and introduced in Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Adam McQuaid and Keith Kinkaid. He and administration believed they had been shut sufficient to being a real contender that they determined to tackle the danger of dropping everyone to go for all of it.
A Fast Evaluate
Their run received off to one of the best begin doable. The Blue Jackets accomplished one of the crucial wonderful and unbelievable accomplishments in playoff reminiscence. They swept the Tampa Bay Lightning proper out of the playoffs. Now many had been praising the strikes.
Then got here the mighty Boston Bruins. In a hard-fought collection that went six video games, the Bruins proved to be an excessive amount of and ended the Blue Jackets’ season.
So all of that for one playoff-round win and a complete of 10 video games. The playoff win was memorable because it gave the Blue Jackets’ their first ever collection win. However ultimately, was this all price it?
The Columbus Blue Jackets went all in and did win a spherical. Was all of it price it? (AP Picture/Jay LaPrete)
Was It Price It?
It’s a good query to ask provided that except one thing dramatically adjustments, the Blue Jackets are set to lose Panarin, Bobrovsky, Duchene and Dzingel for nothing. Ouch.
This appears very unhealthy dropping an elite winger, a a number of Vezina-winning goalie, a number-one heart and a scoring winger with nothing coming again.
Look, it’s simple to bash what the Blue Jackets did. It went in opposition to standard knowledge. However right here’s the factor that’s not getting sufficient play. You don’t assume Kekalainen and administration deliberate for this final result? Belief me once I say they thought of each doable final result they usually nonetheless thought it finest for the workforce to do that. You don’t get many adjustments to win. However extra importantly, the Blue Jackets are literally in place even for those who don’t assume they’re.
When doubtful, belief Jarmo Kekalainen. They’d a plan in thoughts for each doable situation from UFAs staying to everybody leaving. Whereas it will be disappointing for everybody to depart, life goes on. There are methods to remain aggressive. If there’s anybody on the market that isn’t afraid to discover all avenues to enhance whereas doing so in a method that might catch followers off guard, it’s Kekalainen.
Jarmo Kekalainen will discover each doable avenue to maintain the Blue Jackets aggressive.(Picture by Bruce Bennett/Getty Photos)
Belief Jarmo Kekalainen
If there’s anybody within the Blue Jackets’ group that loves Columbus and all the things it’s about, it’s Kekalainen. He at all times has one of the best curiosity of the workforce in thoughts. He particularly does now given the circumstances. If there’s anybody who is aware of the wants of his workforce, it’s Kekalainen. If there’s anybody who is aware of the day in and day trip issues of his workforce, it’s Kekalainen. If there’s going to be anybody unfazed by the circumstances, it’s Kekalainen. Get the purpose but?
To these on the skin wanting in, it’s simple to assume the world is ending. However the Blue Jackets aren’t ranging from sq. one. There’s a core. There’s good gamers, There’s elite gamers (good day Seth Jones.) There’s additionally loads of cap house to work with.
On this time the place it’s simple to fret concerning the future and the place the workforce is perhaps going, the time is now to belief Kekalainen. From the time he got here to the Blue Jackets in 2012 till now, the workforce has loved by far their most sustained success. There’s no purpose to assume he can’t proceed that.
Kekalainen is on file as saying the workforce will likely be okay if everybody leaves. Why is he saying that? That’s as a result of he is aware of what he has and he likes it. There’s enhancements to be made however they’ve a plan in thoughts. He’s not simply saying they’ll be okay for enjoyable. He actually believes they are going to be okay. Actually, he believes they’ll be higher than okay.
In Conclusion, Be Comforted
July 1 is coming shortly. We don’t know what all goes to occur. However what we do know is that Kekalainen isn’t frightened. If he’s not frightened, neither must you, even when it’s apparent to be frightened. There’s a purpose Kekalainen has loved success in Columbus. It’s as a result of he has a watch for expertise. It’s as a result of he has deal with of workforce wants. It’s additionally as a result of he’s not afraid to drag off one thing large if it presents itself.
So it doesn’t matter what occurs whether or not it’s nothing or somethng big, Kekalainen is appearing in one of the best curiosity of the Blue Jackets. Let that be your consolation on this time of doubt, fear and worry.