Now that the Stanley Cup Final has concluded, the Blue Jackets have unofficially entered the 2019-20 season. The NHL Draft is a week away in Vancouver and free agency follows shortly thereafter.
GM Jarmo Kekalainen is now at the top of the hockey operations ladder following the departure of John Davidson, and the former isn't wasting any time doing some restructuring within his department. The Blue Jackets announced today a series of promotions within hockey operations.
- Bill Zito has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, associate GM and alternate governor.
- Josh Flynn and Basil McRae have been promoted to assistant general manager.
- Chris Clark is now the team's director of player personnel.
- Rick Nash has officially been hired as special assistant to the GM.
Per the Blue Jackets' release, Nash will "assist the club's hockey operations department in a variety of areas, including player evaluations, prospect development and player recruitment. That's an interesting wrinkle, to be sure.
"Rick is the most decorated player in Blue Jackets history and was one of the game's most respected players during a career that included multiple All-Star games, Olympic and World Championship gold medals and a Stanley Cup Final appearance," Kekalainen said in a statement. "He cares deeply about the Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus and will be a great addition to our organization."