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Blue Jackets: Marc Bergevin or Jeff Gorton for GM?
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

This morning, the Columbus Blue Jackets fired Jarmo Kekalainen. Well, it’s about time. With just a few weeks to go before the deadline, however, the timing is a pleasant surprise. No?

In a nutshell. In the meantime, in-house people, starting with President John Davidson, will take over on an interim basis.

I expect to see the Blue Jackets finish the season like this before choosing a GM next summer. That way, there would be more candidates available to fill the position.

I don’t know how important certain candidates will become in the near future, but it’s worth remembering that Darren Dreger has just thrown Jeff Gorton’s name into the discussion.

It’s speculation,” he says, “but still.

His point: how would the Habs feel if the Blue Jackets were to call to inquire about the availability of Jeff Gorton, who is currently the Habs’ vice-president?

The reasons? John Davidson, president of the Blue Jackets, was Gorton’s president when the latter was GM in New York. They were fired at the same time, in 2021.

Dreger also says that Gorton is a GM at heart. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about the fact that Gorton might like to be GM again, to get both hands back in the action.

And that’s even though the first time, the information was refuted by Renaud Lavoie.

Note that if Geoff Molson doesn’t want anything to do with the project, he’ll keep his VP, since becoming GM wouldn’t be a “promotion” for Gorton. That said, I’m thinking that Dreger’s mention of it, and the fact that there was already smoke about it last year, may not be a coincidence. No?

Note that the Jackets will begin their search for a GM “outside the organization” for the time being. Candidates have already been contacted. Did Davidson call Montreal?

But will Gorton be the only candidate? Of course not. After all, the chances of him leaving Montreal for Columbus are pretty slim right now.

I’d say it won’t happen, if I had to say so… but who knows what Dreger really meant?

Among the other candidates who could be evaluated, Marc Bergevin could be a candidate. After all, we know he’s looking for a new NHL GM job.

And that’s a fact that’s out there.

Why Columbus more than anywhere else? Maybe because Trevor Timmins, who survived his GM’s dismissal this morning and works for the Blue Jackets, could put in a good word for Marc Bergevin with Davidson?

Since Bergevin isn’t currently GM (or VP…) in the NHL, he’d be an interesting candidate. And if Davidson likes what the GM did in Montreal in 2012 with a club that looked like the Jackets of 2023-2024…

In Brief

– One to watch.

– It’s not easy being an NHL coach.

– What will they do?

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