Analysis: There are rumors about Columbus again – Jarmo Kekäläinen’s time is coming to an end | Sport

Analysis There are rumors about Columbus again Jarmo Kekalainens

Let’s start on a positive note. It’s undeniable that the Columbus Blue Jackets have one of the best rosters of young players in the entire NHL. Tomorrow’s excellence can be found in the team.

Even though the club has not had any sporting credibility for a while, there are enough pieces to build a better tomorrow. In this regard, the club management Jarmo Kekäläinen the management has done a good job.

This season, the young players have undoubtedly improved, even though the team’s results have been poor. The promise of a brighter tomorrow rumbles beneath the surface.

Then there will be a big but.

How do you keep the package together in the middle of all the turbulence? It is certain that Kekäläinen literally hates the discussion about how one player after another wants to leave the club.

This debate has been going on since Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky wanted a change of scenery four years ago.

The topic surfaced again a couple of weeks ago.

One of the club’s brightest promises, the Czech defender David Jiricek at that time publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the way the club had treated him. Already in the fall, the club management gave Jiricek permission to get an apartment in the city, which in the NHL world usually means securing a place to play. Just a few days later the club sent him to Cleveland in the AHL.

Since then, Jiricek has been bounced here and there and at times he has not played anywhere.

In order to better understand Jiricek’s situation, I asked for a report directly from the skull site. Next for The Athletic from Columbus on a daily basis Aaron Portzline said directly that the treatment in the Czech player’s camp has been taken personally.

– It is clear that he is dissatisfied with the way he has been treated. It’s unusual to instruct a player to get a house and then put them on a farm. And again later in the season, now apparently for a longer period of time. Does he have a right to feel that way? That’s a fair question.

And Jiricek is not the only one.

Why do players want to leave?

Played an excellent rookie season Kent Johnson (16+24), to the surprise of many, started the season on the farm, where he played for a surprisingly long time before being called back up. Those who played a 40-point rookie season less often start the season on the farm.

The income center has also been highlighted by Adam Fantill a special transfer to the wing and limiting the ice time of young players in non-stakes games, where it could be imagined that driving in young people would be a priority.

Of course, in the same breath, it must be remembered that farm orders and growing pains are part of a completely normal growth process for young players. The fact that today’s young people are full of self-confidence and a sense of their own worth in a different way does not mean that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. The NHL is equally a mercilessly tough professional league, where learning the ways to win always also requires tough love.

– Some day-to-day solutions with young players deserve criticism. Jiricek’s farm assignment, Fantill’s transfer to the wing and certain ice-time solutions, but at the same time, the young players in front of our eyes have undeniably developed. There are definitely bubbles under the surface, Portzline sees.

However, the big picture does not paint pretty. It is strange to say the least, how often it is in Columbus that the players seem to be dissatisfied – who for whatever reason. It is worth remembering that each case is different, but is it really a coincidence that they keep coming from one club.

During this season alone, in addition to Jiricek, a Latvian goalkeeper has wanted to leave the club Elvis Merzlikins and a homesick Russian attacker Dmitry Voronkov. In November Yegor Tshinahov the agent messaged to the Columbus Dispatch that their client wants out of Columbus. According to the agent, the player did not feel that he received trust and support from the club. Later, Chinakov himself said that everything was fine.

Previously, he wanted to leave the club and was able to Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Well-known American editor of The Daily Faceoff Frank Seravalli uploaded a couple of weeks ago that the players simply do not want to play in Columbus due to the current club management and coaching (Pascal Vincent) under.

Vincent took a hard line right at the beginning of the season. The star players were already sitting at the end of the bench and/or in the stands for the first time in weeks Patrick Laine, Johnny Gaudreau mixed Damon Severson.

“I respect Frank and I can’t say he’s wrong, but maybe that’s a view from 30,000 feet. All cases have their own, but the situation is troubled and this club has a history of these cases. The really big question now is: can the club keep the talented youngsters in Columbus, Portzline asks.

The gaze turns to Kekäläinen. After all the turbulence and the athletic plunge, it is at least fair to ask, will the club’s Finnish boss still be handed a pen when the new contracts of the young players start to be negotiated?

– He has succeeded Laine and Zach Werenskin with. Whether they can keep this body together and give it time to develop into something greater remains to be seen.

Kekäläinen on the final stretch?

After all, Kekäläinen’s position as the boss of the sports side must be strongly questioned. The club’s results have collapsed, the players are showing symptoms publicly and there is no red thread to be found in the wider operation.

On one side, the club presents itself as a rebuilding project, which it should be, and on the other, Kekäläinen talks about playoff goals. The stark reality is that Columbus is the weakest team in the Eastern Conference, 16 points away from the playoffs.

Along with the collapsed results, the most worrying thing is the constant turbulence and negative publicity around the club. It has been going on for a long time and started this season already in the summer, when Kekäläinen decided to hire a coach from Toronto who got booted due to questionable coaching methods Mike Babcock’s. The experienced pilot didn’t have time to coach a single practice before he also received a shoe from Columbus after examining the player’s phone.

On top of that, the openings of Jiricek and Merzlikins and so on. Something is rotten in Columbus.

– Losing creates chaos and the Babcock thing still resonates. In Babcock’s case, the phrase “due diligence” used by the club’s management regarding recruitment meant nothing at all, Portzline stated.

The belief that Kekäläinen would still be in his position at the start of the 2024–2025 season is starting to fade.

– It seems that changes are coming to the higher levels of the organization. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on Kekäläinen’s job, Portzline says.

– Everything depends on how the owner reacts to his vision of the future. There’s been a lot of noise this season through Babcock, Merzlikins and Jiricek and I know the ownership doesn’t like that. At the same time, they like to stay in the background and don’t want to be guided by public opinion.