Here’s the press release from Columbus:
Columbus Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson announced this evening that Scott Howson has been relieved of his duties as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League club.
“Scott Howson is a caring man who gave everything he had to the Columbus Blue Jackets over the past six years,” said Davidson. “This was a difficult decision but one that I thought was in the best interest of moving our hockey club forward. I have enjoyed working with Scott and want to thank him for his service.”
Howson was named the second general manager in Columbus Blue Jackets history on June 15, 2007. During his tenure with the club, the Blue Jackets compiled a 173-190-59 record and made their lone appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a franchise-best 41-31-10 mark in 2008-09.
And on Kekalainen:
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.
“Hockey is a truly global game and there are very few people whose knowledge of the game in North America and abroad surpasses that of Jarmo Kekalainen,” said Davidson. “He is intelligent, hard-working and a tremendous evaluator of talent. He is a terrific addition to the Blue Jackets family and will play an important role in our efforts to move our organization forward in the coming years.”
Kekalainen (pronounced kehk-uh-LIE-nehn) spent eight seasons with the St. Louis Blues from 2002-10 before joining Jokerit. He most recently served as the club’s assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting and was involved in all facets of hockey operations, including professional scouting efforts and overseeing the club’s amateur scouting and draft preparations. During his eight years in St. Louis, the Blues drafted players such as David Backes, Roman Polak, David Perron, T.J. Oshie, Patrick Berglund and Alex Pietrangelo.
I’ll have more on this later, with thoughtful insights like “Howson probably got fired because wasn’t super-great at his job.”
Quite the list of picks Kekalainen weighed in on in St. Louis, hey? A good sign for a team with three firsts in this year’s draft.