September 6, 2018 / 6:41 PM / 10 months ago

Blue Jackets extend three top officials

FILE PHOTO: Finnish manager Jarmo Kekalainen attends a news conference in Helsinki February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Kimmo Mantyla/Lehtikuva

The Columbus Blue Jackets rewarded their senior management team with multi-year extensions on Thursday after back-to-back stellar seasons.

President of Hockey Operations John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen received multi-year extensions, and Bill Zito was promoted to associate general manager as part of his multi-year extension after previously being the assistant club’s general manager.

The extensions come after Columbus made the NHL playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. The Blue Jackets (45-30-7) had 97 points last season, second in franchise history to the 108 accumulated in 2016-17 when the club posted a franchise-best 50-24-8 record.

Davidson joined the Blue Jackets in Oct. 2012 after the franchise had an NHL-low 65 points during the 2011-12 season. Columbus has made three of its four playoff appearances during his tenure.

“Under John Davidson’s leadership, our club has made great strides over the past six seasons and this long-term commitment speaks to the confidence that our ownership group, led by John P. McConnell, has in his vision for our team,” Blue Jackets president Mike Priest said in a statement. “The plan implemented by our hockey operations senior management team is working and we are pleased that these talented and committed individuals will continue to lead our hockey operations efforts for years to come.”

Kekalainen has been Columbus’ general manager since Feb. 13, 2013 and has overseen the improvement. The Blue Jackets’ 95 wins over the past two seasons are the fourth most in the NHL during the span.

Zito joined the organization in August 2013. He handles contract negotiations, scouting and player development, salary cap management and budgeting.

—Field Level Media

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