Kekalainen says Columbus’ leadership ‘is being questioned right now’

9 Comments

The Columbus Blue Jackets sound like they’re in the market for some veteran presences.

That’s what GM Jarmo Kekalainen alluded to during the club’s Western road swing, saying he’s noticed a lack of leadership among his current group.

“Leadership is being questioned right now,” Kekelainen told the Columbus Dispatch. “It’s certainly something we’re looking at. Leadership is a full-time job. It’s not a part-time job.

“It has to be there every day, in every practice and every game.”

This quote is interesting, given the Jackets opted not to return last year’s leading scorer, Vaclav Prospal. The 38-year-old was part of the club’s key leadership group from a year ago, a veteran of over 1100 NHL contests… but the Jackets opted to go young rather than old this season (the club also cut ties with recently-retired Adrian Aucoin), which hasn’t worked so far.

Kekalainen acknowledged he’s looking to acquire some veteran presences via trade, but said the market is stagnant right now. He also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of one of the current Blue Jackets stepping up and taking a bigger role.

“You can never have too much of that, so if there’s a way to improve in that area by adding that kind of player from the outside, sure, we’d love to look at it,” he said. “But at the same time, I think we have enough guys with that kind of potential on the inside.”