The Blue Jackets Are Considering Jukka Jalonen As Next Head Coach

By Jacob Nitzberg on May 26, 2021 at 9:43 am
Jukka Jalonen raises the cup after Finland wins the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Champsionship.
Matt Zambonn / HHOF-IIHF Images

Could there be a Finnish connection between the Blue Jackets' next head coach and their GM, Jarmo Kekalainen?

In an interview on Monday, Jarmo Kekalainen confirmed that the club is considering Jukka Jalonen as a candidate for the head coaching vacancy.

"We go through all the good candidates, and I know all the best head coaches from Europe and I also know some of them personally," Kekalainen told Leijonat on Monday. "I know Jukka Jalonen well. He is a great trainer who has won a lot of success and wherever he went. We will definitely take it into account."

Jalonen is currently the head coach of the Finnish national team, where he has seen great success. In 2011, Finland won their second-ever IIHF championship, and in 2019, they won their third. Jalonen was head coach for both runs.

"Coaching is the same basically, but in the NHL the game is more direct and short passes, more north-south," Jalonen told Andrew Podnieks after the Finnish national team won the IIHF World Championship in 2019. "You can’t play east-west as much, and you have to go more to the net. But I don’t think as a coach I’d need to change much about me. I think coaching translates anywhere, but it probably is easier to go from North America to Europe rather than the other way."

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