Introducing the 4th GM

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Potential GM Candidates for the Columbus Blue Jackets

written by #GoldenKuraly

John Davidson and the Columbus Blue Jackets have been quiet when it comes to the search for the 4th GM of the team. Outside of John confirming that this will not be an internal hire and saying that he would be willing to “step-down” or “change” his role of President of Hockey Operations, if it meant bringing in the right candidate. So, with a little over a month until the 2024 NHL draft, where does that leave the team?

First, this new GM is going to have to draft our newest prospect class, starting with the 4th overall pick. With that said, I would think the Jackets and JD should be deciding on who the GM will be sooner rather than later because you’d like to give your GM ample time to work with our scouts to make the correct picks.

Secondly, Free Agency opens on July 1st and the Blue Jackets have 18 players (NHL and AHL) that are free agents this summer. These free agents include Johnson, Chinakov, Sillinger, and Marchenko. Some guys who you would expect to be in the blueprints for the future, but these are also all products of the Jarmo Era and there is no loyalty for a new GM, and he may not re-sign everyone the 5th Line would expect or hope him to re-sign.

Here are a few potential Candidates for the next General Manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Mathieu Darche, Director of Hockey Operations, Tampa Bay

Darche has ties to Columbus, as he was a player on the inaugural Blue Jackets squad, he only played 24 games, so he didn’t really get to experience the full glory of the 5th line, but he did get a little taste of it. He has been the Director of Player Personnel since 2019-2020 season for the Tampa Bay Lightning and was promoted to Assistant General Manager in the 2022-2023 season. He has interviewed for GM positions in the past and he is expected to be a GM soon.

Gregory Campbell, General Manager Charlotte Checkers

Another candidate that has ties to Columbus, he played his final professional season with the Blue Jackets in 2015-2016 before joining the staff as an assistant development coach. From there he became the Development Coach for the Jackets AHL affiliate the Cleveland Monsters. Since 2021-2022 season he has been the GM of the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers as part of the Florida Panthers organization.

Jeff Gorton, Executive VP of Hockey OPS, Montreal Canadiens

Gorton doesn’t have ties to Columbus, per say, however he did work under JD during his time with the New York Rangers. This maybe a long shot seeing as General Manager would be a step down from his current position with the Canadiens, however, JD did say he would be willing to give up his position if it meant bringing in the right candidate for the job.

Chris MacFarland, General Manager, Colorado Avalanche

MacFarland was with the Blue Jackets for their first 14 seasons in existence. He served as the teams Director of Hockey Operations for six seasons and was the Assistant General Manager for eight more seasons before moving on to Colorado where he has been since. The Blue Jackets would have to lay down a pretty enticing offer for MacFarland, as this would be a lateral move position based, and a downgrade teamwise. However, as we’ve heard from Upper Management in the Organization before, the ownership group is very hands off and is willing to give the GM ample room to make the team theirs. This may be just the right enticement for MacFarland.

John Tortorella, Head Coach, Philadelphia Flyers.

Recently, a veteran reporter, Andy Strickland from “The Cam & Strick Podcast” said that he’s heard that Torts “could be” a viable candidate for the open GM position. It has also been revealed, since the firing of Jarmo Kekalainen, that prior to the mutual parting of ways with Tortorella, he had expressed interest in moving to the Front Office with the organization. Truthfully, if I’m being honest, this would 100 percent be a shot in the dark and likely is nothing more than rumors and fluff. I don’t see Torts moving from behind the bench, unless he retires, again.

Meghan Hunter, Assistant General Manager, Chicago Blackhawks.

John Davidson said, the next GM of the Blue Jackets would be an external hire. Meghan Hunter has zero ties to the city of Columbus. Meghan has been with the Chicago Blackhawks organization for a number of years starting as the Director of Hockey Administration and an amateur scout before being promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2022. During her career she has been involved in virtually every facet of player and program development, from Coaching to Front Office, she’s done it all. Could see break the glass ceiling and be the NHL’s first woman General Manager? Columbus is the perfect team and city to make that happen.

“I hope I can continue to drive opportunities for women in hockey and society,” Hunter writes “Growing up, I could have never imagined it could be possible to have the jobs I’ve had. I’ve never thought of myself as a pioneer or role model, but giving visibility to women in an NHL organization is something I’m very proud of. I’m excited to continue to push the envelope in my career and grind my way to a Stanley Cup.”-

Meghan Hunter via hockeycanada.ca

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One response to “Introducing the 4th GM”

  1. […] With all this said, Our Blue Jackets have secured to 4th overall pick, and currently there are a few players who could make impacts on this team. So here is my 4 player “wish list” on who I think the Jackets will draft, in no particular order. This 100% hinges on who the Blue Jackets hire as GM (more on that here). […]

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