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Could Columbus Try To Lure Back Chris MacFarland?



Avalanche MacFarland nhl

Back in 2015, the Colorado Avalanche lured Chris MacFarland away from the Columbus Blue Jackets to become Joe Sakic’s right-hand man. It worked out, as MacFarland and Sakic helped rebuild the Avalanche, with all of their efforts culminating in a Stanley Cup win back in 2022. With other teams in pursuit of MacFarland to run their team, Colorado promoted him to general manager in the summer of 2022, moving Sakic up to President of Player Operations.

On Thursday morning, the Columbus Blue Jackets relieved Jarmo Kekalainen of his duties as general manager. Is it possible they try to lure Chris MacFarland back?

Aaron Portzline, who writes for The Athletic and is as connected as anybody to what the Blue Jackets are doing, discussed potential candidates to replace Kekalainen on the Jeff Marek Show. To my surprise, MacFarland’s name came up.

“You’d have to offer something bigger than just GM, because he’s currently got that job in a really sweet place, but Chris MacFarland was here for years under Doug MacLean, later under Scott Howson, and again under Jarmo Kekalainen,” Portzline said. “Very well respected in Colorado. Is he ready for a bigger role, GM+, in Columbus? That’s what it would take to attract someone like that. Chris MacFarland is the type, I don’t know how some people do this, but he can negotiate a contract with you and have a beer with you afterwards. He’s that kind of guy. Players love him, in my experience.”

Portzline has expanded in his most recent article with The Athletic, essentially saying they’d have to create a new title to try and lure him away from the Avalanche.

I guess anything is possible, seeing as how MacFarland likely still has connections with the Blue Jackets organization, but I have a tough time seeing someone go from a contender to a team needing to rebuild. I do believe the Blue Jackets will be an enticing job for many, as they’ve got quite a bit of young talent, especially up front, but they have no direction at the moment.

Kekalainen loaded up on veterans with high salaries, but they’ve all underperformed. Meanwhile, they’ve got an impressive prospect pool that could really help turn the franchise around in a few years. Are they looking to rebuild, or are they trying to go for it?

Just something to keep an eye on. A lateral move doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from my point of view, and Columbus already has a President of Hockey Operations in John Davidson. That’s why I’ve been so caught off guard seeing his name mentioned multiple times, but you just never know in the NHL. Another title would likely mean more money.

Right now, I’m sure MacFarland is more focused on seeing what he can do to get his Avalanche some help for another playoff run.

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