Jarmo Kekäläinen Net Worth Before Fired: Salary And Contract Explored

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The former Blue Jackets general manager, Jarmo Kekalainen, has an estimated net worth of $5 million. Kekalainen started as an executive in 1995 and joined the Blue Jackets in 2013.

The longest-serving and the winningest GM in the Blue Jackets history, Jarmo Kekalainen, was fired from his position on Thursday. The news didn’t come as a shock, but the timing has been questioned by the fans. 

John Davidson Will Replace Jarmo As An Interim General Manager
John Davidson Will Replace Jarmo As An Interim General Manager (Source: Twitter)

The NHL deadline is only three weeks away, and the president of hockey operations, John Davidson, has assumed the GM role on an interim basis. 

Though one of the high points of the Blue Jackets history happened under Jarmo, their incapability to retain their best players has been a problem. In the past, the team lost out on Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin as free agents. It had become an ongoing pattern under Jarmo. 

Jarmo Kekäläinen Net Worth Before Being Fired

The longtime general manager of Columbus Blue Jackets, Jarmo Kekäläinen, net worth is estimated to be $5 million.

The Finnish ice hockey executive began his hockey career as a player in his home country before moving to the US to enroll at Clarkson University and eventually landing in the NHL.

He signed with the Boston Bruins in 1989 and played two seasons with the Bruins before returning to Finland. He didn’t create much impact in Boston, and his contract remains confidential, but it would be hard to believe he got paid six figures.

In Finland, he joined KalPa and moved to Tappara “A” the following season. The two teams are part of the SM-liiga, and it’s been reported that the league’s average salary in 2024 is $100,000. 

Jarmo Kekalainen Played For The Senators In The 90s
Jarmo Kekalainen Played For The Senators In The 90s (Source: Instagram)

He returned to the US with the Ottawa Senators but played only one season before moving to Sweden to play for Västerås IK. He retired in 1995 after suffering a knee injury. 

So, there is a consensus that Kekalainen made much more as an executive than a player. His first executive role came with the Finnish team IFK Helsinki in 1995. He was the general manager of the side from 1995 to 1999. 

But at the same time, Kekalainen was working for the Ottawa Senators as their European Scout. He joined the Senators permanently in 1999 as their director of player personnel. 

Jarmo joined St Louis Blues in 2002 and held various positions until 2009. He was their director of player personnel for three years, director of amateur scouting for another three years, and spent the last six seasons as their assistant general manager.

While holding these positions, Jarmo is likely to have had a salary between $100,000-$500,000. 

His Tenure As Blue Jackets General Manager

Jarmo returned to Finland in 2010 with the team Jokerit as their general manager. After three years at Jokerit, Jarmo took up the biggest responsibility of his career. 

Jarmo was hired by the Columbus Blue Jackets as their general manager in February 2013. At the time, a new NHL general manager’s salary was estimated to be around $600,000-$1 million. 

The Finnish executive’s salary might have increased when he renewed his contract in 2018 and later in 2021. Many speculate that Jarmo might’ve been getting paid between $2 million-$2.5 million. 

General managers’ salaries have increased steadily in the NHL. In 2019, it was reported that the Ottawa Senators’ general manager, Ken Holland, had signed a five-year deal worth $25 million. 

At first, Holland was offered $3 million-$3.5 million by the Red Wings to keep him with them, but the Senators were able to prize him out.

When fixing a GM’s salary, a team’s success is kept in mind, and honestly, the Jackets haven’t had much success. So, Jarmo, getting paid above $4 million is highly unlikely. 

Blue Jackets Fire Jarmo Kekalainen After 11 Years In Charge 

The news of Jarmo Kekalainen being fired from his position didn’t come as a shock. There were speculations for months and months before he eventually got fired. 

Jarmo’s hiring in 2013 was historic as he became the first European-born general manager in the NHL. Under Jarmo, the Blue Jackets qualified for the playoffs five times and won their only playoff series in 2019.

The Blue Jackets president of hockey operations and alternate governor, John Davidson, announced Jarmo had been relieved from his position on Thursday. 

Jarmo Kekalainen Was Fired From His Position After 11 Years At The Helm
Jarmo Kekalainen Was Fired From His Position After 11 Years At The Helm (Source: Twitter)

Davidson returned to Columbus in 2021, and his return and Jarmo’s contract extension were announced at the same time.

After Jarmo’s firing, Davidson said, “This is one of the hardest days I have had in my career, as Jarmo is a friend, someone I have a great deal of respect for and someone who has done a lot of good things during his time here.

While the future of our club is bright, our performance has not been good enough, and it is time for a fresh perspective as we move forward.”

Davidson will handle GM duties in the interim with assistance from the rest of the management staff. Davidson has confirmed that Jarmo’s replacement will be someone outside the organization. 

Sriyukta Pradhananga
Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga is a versatile writer with a keen interest in exploring the multifaceted dimensions of sports. Her articles offer readers a dynamic blend of insightful analysis, engaging storytelling, and thought-provoking commentary that sheds light on the diverse experiences within the athletic realm.


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With a background in journalism and a passion for sports, Sriyukta approaches each article with a blend of curiosity, rigor, and creativity. She strives to illuminate the complexities and nuances of the sports world, sparking meaningful conversations and inspiring readers to engage more deeply with the athletic endeavors that unite us all.

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