Oct 29 2013, 8:43pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with (Finland general manager) Jari Kurri, head coach Erkka Westerlund and the Finnish Ice Hockey Association at next year's Olympic Games in Sochi. Representing your country at the Olympics is a tremendous honor, so this is a very proud moment for my famiily and I."
Kekalainen's hire is the latest addition to a sizeable contingent from the Blue Jackets who will be in Sochi. Head coach Todd Richards is an assistant while Jack Johnson and Brandon Dubinksy are players for Team USA.
Kekalainen was hired on February 13 of this year to become the Blue Jackets' third general manager in franchise history and the first-ever European-born NHL GM. His NHL career kicked off in 1995 as a member of the Ottawa Senators' operations department.
He then assumed roles as director of amateur scouting and assistant general manager with the St. Louis Blues from 2002-2010 before becoming president and general manager of Jokerit in the Finnish Elite League in 2010 until his hiring by the Blue Jackets.
In his first year on the job as Blue Jackets GM, Kekalainen and the team fell just a point short of their second-ever postseason berth.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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