Jarmo Kekalainen Has Contract Extended Through 2024-25 NHL Season

By Jacob Nitzberg on May 20, 2021 at 11:39 am
Jarmo Kekalainen

The good news just keeps on coming.

This morning, the Blue Jackets announced that John Davidson would return to the club in his old position, as president of hockey operations. Davidson has signed a five-year contract that will keep him in Columbus until 2026. 

In that announcement, there was a second piece of good news for stability in Columbus. The Blue Jackets also extended Jarmo Kekalainen's current contract as general manager through the 2024-25 season. 

“John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen worked tirelessly and effectively together to transform our hockey club from a team with one Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in 12 seasons to one that reached the postseason five times in seven years from 2013-20,” said club president Mike Priest. 

Davidson and Kekalainen worked tirelessly to turn the Blue Jackets into a winner, and they were behind some of the biggest trades in club history. The pair brought Scott Hartnell, Brandon Saad, Seth Jones, Artemi Panarin, and Matt Duchene to Columbus, among others. 

This offseason is quite the crossroads for the Blue Jackets. Jones hasn't exactly been glowing about the possibility of signing an extension, and Nick Foligno is gone. The Blue Jackets also have three first-round picks in this year's draft, as well as two NHL-caliber starting goalies. If there's anyone to figure out what to do next, it's Davidson and Kekalainen.

“This is an important time for our organization and having stability and proven leadership at the top of our hockey operations department is critical for us to do what we want to do, which is bring a Stanley Cup championship to Columbus," said Priest. "Signing Jarmo to an extension and then bringing J.D. back gives us the right people to address the opportunities and challenges before us and we couldn’t be more excited.”

The Columbus Dispatch was first with the news of Davidson's return.

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