COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen has been named assistant general manager of Team Finland for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey to be held from September 17 to October 1, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Team Finland’s general manager is former NHL forward Jere Lehtinen.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey marks the second time that Kekalainen will serve as assistant general manager for Team Finland after helping select the national men’s team that earned a bronze medal at the 2014 Olympic Games held in Sochi, Russia.
Kekalainen was named the third general manager in Blue Jackets history on February 13, 2013. Since his arrival, the Jackets have enjoyed their best stretch in franchise history, posting back-to-back 40-win campaigns and three-straight winning seasons for the first time in club history. Columbus finished 42-35-5 (89 pts.) in 2014-15, following a franchise record-breaking 2013-14 season in which they set club records for wins and points with a 43-32-7 mark (93 pts.). In 2012-13, the Blue Jackets posted the highest-winning percentage in franchise history at .573 with a 24-17-7 mark.
The Tampere, Finland native joined the club after serving as the president and general manager of Jokerit in the Finnish Elite League from 2010-13. Prior to his time with Jokerit, he spent eight seasons with the St. Louis Blues from 2002-10, including three as director of amateur scouting and five as assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting. He was a member of the Ottawa Senators hockey operations department from 1995 to 2002 and also served as general manager of IFK Helsinki in the Finnish Elite League from 1995-99, leading the club to the league championship in 1998.