Aaron Johnson returns as ‘janitor’ player, who will answer the bell, and more – The Athletic

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A collection of notes, ideas, ruminations and did you know gathered throughout the week for the Blue Jackets:

Article n ° 1: A concierge (and more) for the players

Last May, just days after the end of a miserable 2020-21 season, the Blue Jackets management group met at the home of general manager Jarmo Kekalainen to set out their grievances.

The relationship between the dressing room and the front office had become unhealthy, and players wanted changes to stem the tide of talented players leaving the organization either through trade or free agency.

Two of the most vocal players – Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson – are gone now, having been traded to Chicago and Philadelphia respectively. But Kekalainen and the rest of the Blue Jackets management, by all accounts, took the message from the management group to heart.

So far, two important changes are underway.

First, the Blue Jackets have embarked on a two-year process to modernize the player quarters at Nationwide Arena. The locker room has been transformed for this season, while the players’ lounge, weight room and medical rooms are scheduled for next summer.

“It will be some of the best in the league,” Kekalainen said. “It will be amazing.”

Second, the Blue Jackets have added a front office position: Team Relations Specialist.


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