Could one of these be Jarmo Kekäläinen’s future address? The expert believes that a new employer will be found quickly | Sport

Could one of these be Jarmo Kekalainens future address The

Worked for 11 years as the sports director of the Columbus Blue Jackets, an NHL ice hockey club Jarmo Kekäläinen57, was fired by the team in February.

Kekäläinen, who hails from Tampere, was also the first European sports director in the history of the NHL.

Kekäläinen recently gave Interview with NHL.comwhere he said that he was already waiting for new job opportunities.

– I am by no means ready to retire. I would certainly be a much better sports director now, Kekäläinen said.

Kekäläinen says that he has been actively following the North American hockey leagues to keep up to date with the events.

Urheilu’s ice hockey expert Ismo Lehkonen I believe that in a short period of time some organization will recruit Kekäläinen to their team.

– There are many teams in the NHL that have booked a lot in recent years, but have not made it to the playoffs. In my opinion, Kekäläinen would be a good fit for such organizations.

Which NHL teams could be interested in Kekäläinen?

– Among the teams on the Canadian side, for example, the Ottawa Senators would be an interesting address for Kekäläinen. From the side of the Yankees, the Buffalo Sabres. In my opinion, there are two such teams that would need new energy and professionalism.

Kekäläinen has previously worked for the Ottawa Senators, first as a talent scout in the 1990s, and then for seven years as the director of player personnel.

“A good eye for talent”

Urheilu’s NHL expert Tommi Seppälä says that NHL circles are such that once you’ve gotten in there properly, it’s hard to get out.

– Kekäläinen has a reputation in North America. He has an undeniably good eye for talent.

At one time, Kekäläinen was building the St. Louis Blues team, which finally won the Stanley Cup in 2019. Of the players who celebrated the championship Vladimir Tarasenko, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo were partly brought by Kekäläinen to the team.

Seppälä thinks that the position of the boss of an NHL team’s talent search ladder could possibly also suit Kekäläinen.

– Then know if he wants to start building a team like the San Jose Sharks, for example, from scratch. However, I don’t think he can get into the selection freely.

Return to Europe?

Kekäläinen’s own playing career ended at the age of 28. After this, he quickly became the sporting director of Helsinki IFK in 1995. Three years later, the team already celebrated the Finnish championship.

Kekäläinen stayed in Helsinki for another season after the championship season, until North America and the NHL called the then 33-year-old Finn full-time for the first time.

However, the return to Europe and the SM league came in 2010, when Helsinki’s then second major league team Jokerit appointed Kekäläinen as its sports manager.

So Kekäläinen has already experienced a return from NHL circles to Europe, but could this happen now as well?

– Everything is possible. It certainly occurred to me that what if HIFK appoints a new club management. The question is, where do the people of Helsinki find top-level competence for the management ladder, Seppälä ponders.

– If HIFK ever had an opening for Kekäläinen to go through, it would be now. It would be an amazing lottery win for the team if they could get Kekäläinen.

However, Seppälä adds that returning to Europe would be a step backwards for Kekäläinen. Ismo Lehkonen does not believe that Kekäläinen would return to the old continent.

– He is a hockey freak 24 hours a day. I do not believe that Kekäläinen would return here.

During Kekäläinen’s tenure, Columbus made it to the NHL playoffs five times, but only won one playoff series.

– I have one goal, and that is to win the Stanley Cup. Whatever the role, Kekäläinen told