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The Columbus Blue Jackets have fired general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, according to an announcement from the team on Thursday. While the team searches for a replacement, president of hockey operations and alternate governor John Davidson will assume general manager duties, along with the hockey operations department.

"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," Davidson said in a statement.  "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."

Kekalainen has served as the Blue Jackets general manager since he was hired on Feb. 13, 2013. The 57-year-old is one of just three general managers in the franchise's history.

During Kekalainen's time with the team, the Blue Jackets put together a 410-362-97 record in 869 games, and that marked the longest tenure at the post in team history. Columbus has qualified for the postseason in five of Kekalainen's 10 campaigns since assuming general manager duties.

However, the Blue Jackets have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past three seasons, and have accumulated a 96-138-38 during that span. 

Kekalainen's tenure has been marred by some questionable personnel decisions, including signing star winger Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year, $68.25 million contract during the 2022 offseason. In addition, the Blue Jackets haven't provided consistent playing time for 2022 first-round pick David Jiricek on the team's blue line and even sent him down to the AHL's Cleveland Monsters, despite Columbus sitting at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.