Five Years Ago Today, The Blue Jackets Hired Jarmo Kekalainen As General Manager (It's Worked Out)

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DarknStormy's picture

So what you're saying is Jarmo & JD took over a borderline playoff team from Howson in their first year and after five years...they're on pace to be a borderline playoff team.

#Progress

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Rob Mixer's picture

Scott Howson's final Blue Jackets team finished 15th in the Western Conference (29 wins) in 2011-12. Then, they won four of their first 13 games before Howson was let go in the lockout season. 20-10-5 to finish that season, then 43 wins the next year.

DarknStormy's picture

Are we just ignoring he was with the team in 2013, hired JD in October 2012, and made all the moves that summer - Foligno, Bobrovsky, Anisimov, Dubinsky?

The only hiring or trading Jarmo did that year was trade for Gaborik for 12 games. The rest of the team - players, coaches - was put together by Howson (with some pieces from the MacLean era).

Unless you can convince me the team decided to play better once Jarmo showed up nearly all of the success in 2013 is attributable to Howson.

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Q's picture

A lot of the moves listed have worked out well, but you will have to go a long way to ever convince me that the two Gaborik trades were anything other than really bad decisions. We received Matt Fratin, a 2nd round pick and a 3rd round pick…and what did the LA Kings get? A motivated forward that had 16 points in the final 19 regular season games, a great post season and a Stanley Cup! To refresh your memory, that was an especially fun postseason to watch for CBJ fans because we got to see a lot of former Blue Jackets, including Derek Brassard (traded away by Jarmo to get Gaborik) also play for the Rangers in the final!

Also, it’s really hard to point to the Jones for Johansen trade as a “big win”. Both teams have in fact done well and filled a glaring need with that move. Ryan led the Predators to the Cup finals last year and has them in a great position again this year. But there is also the fact that the CBJ have been awfully thin at center since that trade. (How much stronger would we be now if we hadn’t traded away Brassard a couple of years earlier?)

It is equally hard to see how the Johansen and Anderson negotiations could be framed as “wins”. I think you meant “disaster.” Yes, we saved a few bucks in cap space so we could invest in Nathan Horton. (Good thing the GM made the shrewd decision to insure that contract---opps, never mind.) Our GM poisoned the relationship with the franchise center, necessitating a subsequent trade. Let’s hope the Anderson situation ends up a little better.  

Q

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Rob Mixer's picture

The Gaborik-to-LA trade was cost-cutting, especially since the Blue Jackets weren't going to re-sign him. It happens and every team does it, especially if they're a budget team. I also don't pay too much attention to "former Jackets in the Final" because there are "former [insert team name here" in every game. It's not exclusive to Columbus.

Consider this: Seth Jones has more points and more goals than Johansen this season. Johansen's on a better team, but one that acquired two centers (and convinced one to come out of retirement) AFTER signing him to a long-term deal. The Blue Jackets made the playoffs last season in large part due to their depth and productivity at center, too. 

Where does Nathan Horton come into the Johansen/Anderson negotiations, exactly? The Horton signing was years before each of them. The Blue Jackets exercised their right in the CBA, just as the player and agents did theirs. Simple business and both parties treated it that way. To imply there's "bad blood" is merely an assumption, and well, you know what happens when we assume.

Q's picture

All good points Rob, particularly on the comparative seasons of Jones and Johansen: (LOL since it is the first season in a long term deal for Ryan so I should have known his productivity, stats and his energy would be way down. J)

I have re-read the post on the first five years, and still believe it implies that the Jarmo era has been an unqualified success. I have a different view, and I shared plenty of evidence to back up that opinion. I’m not going to rehash those facts, but if any post doesn’t tell both perspectives on a story I will, which is what forums like Eleven Warriors is for. With 20/20 hindsight however, my input probably could have been better written.

One last point: nothing I write is based on assumptions. If you care to, I invite you to look back at my prior entries. Every conclusion I make is based on direct observation as a partial season ticket holder since day one, data, or other evidence, usually drawn on credible beat writers like Aaron Portzline or Canadian media found on TSN.

Q

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