Three Potential Candidates for Blue Jacket’s GM

John Davidson and Jeff Gorton
Photo: Bruce Bennett | Getty Images

There are many candidates for the vacant Columbus Blue Jacket’s General Manager position. Earlier this week, on TSN’s Insider Trading, it was said that the Jackets “Are 30-40 names deep so far on their list”. Some candidates have reached out to apply, and other NHL organizations have sent recommendations for the position. As mentioned in a previous article, Blue Jackets president and interim GM John Davidson has talked about wanting someone with experience to help take the team to the next level and that they want to look outside of the organization. The Blue Jackets are not looking to continue their rebuild.

Interviews for the position haven’t started, and it’s hard to predict who the Blue Jackets will eventually hire. There’s been no word from the organization on who they may be interested in. These three are the first on the list because, in my opinion, they are some of the strongest candidates available.

Jeff Gorton

Gorton has been a name coming up in discussions as a possible candidate. It’s not surprising, as he has some ties with John Davidson. The two had spent two seasons together from 2019-2021 while Davidson was the President of the New York Rangers and Gorton was the General Manager. Both were fired in May of 2021. Gorton is currently the Executive Vice President for the Montreal Canadiens.

Besides the familiarity, Jeff Gorton may be a quality candidate as he has plenty of experience. Previously, he spent seven seasons as the Assistant General Manager for the Boston Bruins and filled in as Interim GM from March to July 2006 and ran their draft that year. During that time, he signed big names such as Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic, and Tuukka Rask. Most of those players were on the team when they won the Stanley Cup in 2011. That experience, combined with his current position, may help Gorton stand out from the crowd.

Jason Botterill

Here is another person who can check the experienced box. Botterill has been in many different positions with various organizations. As a professional hockey player, he played 88 games in the NHL between the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers, and the Dallas Stars. After his playing career ended, he spent time as a scout for the Stars. In 2007 he was hired as director of hockey administration for the Pittsburgh Penguins and two years later was promoted to assistant GM. In 2014 he was named associate GM after filling in as interim GM. From 2017 to 2020, Botterill spent time as the General Manager for the Buffalo Sabres. The Seattle Kraken hired him in 2021 as assistant GM where he is still working.

Even though some teams he led were not always successful, Jason Botterill has experience with winning too. Three Stanley Cups were won during his time at Pittsburgh, and the team had regular appearances in the playoffs. This experience could take the Blue Jackets to the “next level”.

Rick Nash

While it was mentioned that the Blue Jackets are looking outside their organization first, it’s hard to ignore Rick Nash. He’s a former special assistant to the GM and is currently in his third year as Director of Player Development for the Blue Jackets. Recently on March 19, he was named General Manager of Team Canada for this year’s world hockey championship.

While not as experienced as the Gorton or Botteril, Nash is a familiar face around the Blue Jackets and could help make the transition to a new GM easier. The results of the World Championship won’t be known until May, but the experience for him could help bolster his resume.

218. Two Thorns, No Rose CBJectively Speaking

Jeremy welcomes Kyle to the show as we talk about the news and notes for all things Columbus Blue Jackets this week. Did we get some GM news? Gavin Brindley back to Ann Arbor? You won't want to miss it!Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Thread, and Twitter: @CBJectivelyPodCheck us out on Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube: CBJectively SpeakingGive Kyle a follow on Twitter: @KylesArtilleryRate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen!Check out our website: www.cbjectivelyspeaking.comCheck out our merchandise: www.cbjectivelymerch.comJeremy's Stories: https://insidetherink.com/author/jpaul/Laura's Stories: https://insidetherink.com/author/lnorman/
  1. 218. Two Thorns, No Rose
  2. 217. Jeff Rimer, The G.O.A.T.
  3. 216. Future Reality TV Stars?
  4. 215. Blue Jackets Breakdown
  5. 214. Deadline Delusion

Lance Schrock

Credentialed Writer covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. Host of the BrewJackets Podcast.

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