Jarmo Kekalainen Leaving
Unless you are familiar with the Blues internal staff, you might not recognize the name listed above – but you definitely know the results of his work. Kekalainen is the Blues’ director of amateur scouting, but we learned from the Post-Dispatch that he intends to give up this role on June 30th to return to Finland.
The article states that he is accepting a new position in Finland as both the President and GM of Jokerit, a team based in Helsinki, Finland.
Kekalainen has been the man in charge of the team’s drafts since 2002, which means you can thank him for finding David Perron, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller. He is mainly responsible for wading through the amateur organizations and trying to find hidden gems, like the previously mentioned Perron/Oshie.
He has expressed his interest to be a GM of a hockey club, but the Blues have clearly chosen to go in a different direction by appointing Doug Armstrong as the new GM of the team with Larry Pleau exiting. The argument could be made that the Blues should have considered Kekalainen for the GM position, and they likely did, but for some reason or another they passed on promoting him.
It’s unclear who will take over the position vacated by Kekalainen, but all Blues fans should give him plenty of well wishes as he has brought many of the fan-favorites to the organization.