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Kekalainen named among The Hockey News' Top 100

Blue Jackets GM ranked in list of People of Power and Influence

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

As the Blue Jackets get ready to attack the offseason, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has been recognized by The Hockey News as a mover and shaker in the league.

In the magazine's Top 100 People of Power and Influence, the Blue Jackets general manager makes the list at No. 100:

A hardliner in negotiations with players, Kekalainen hit a home run by hiring John Tortorella.

He's also stuck to his guns in not dealing pending UFAs Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky.

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Since being hired by the Blue Jackets organization in 2013, Kekalainen has been diligent in progressing towards achieving the goal of building a Stanley Cup contending team in Columbus.

The Blue Jackets have made the playoffs each of the past three seasons and four of the past six years. Columbus is just one of seven teams to make the playoffs each of the past three seasons, and the team's 142 regular-season wins in that span are fourth among all NHL teams. 

Kekalainen has built the Blue Jackets into winners through a mix of savvy drafting -- he oversaw the picks of team mainstays Oliver Bjorkstrand, Alexander Wennberg, Zach Werenski, Markus Nutivaara and Pierre-Luc Dubois, among others -- and gutsy trades, acquiring such pieces as Panarin and Seth Jones through deals over the past few seasons.

At this year's trade deadline, Kekalainen made four deals, including the acquisition of center Matt Duchene, and the team swept Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay in the first round. 

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