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Kekalainen: Jackets to add ‘depth on defense’ this offseason

Jarmo Kekalainen

Given all the injuries the Blue Jackets have endured this season, it’s no surprise that their GM, Jarmo Kekalainen, would like to add some insurance for next season.

And he’s looking specifically at the blue line.

“I think we need to add a little bit more depth on defense to make sure... I mean defense is a position that if you have injuries you’re going to be in a tough situation,” Kekalainen told FOX Sports Ohio recently.

“The guys that come up to play from the minors have to be NHL-ready, at least, for the amount of games that they need to play at that time. That can expose you if they’re not.

“I think with the amount of players that we have now under contract for next year, and the prospects that we have, whether that’s in Springfield, junior or college coming to the pros, we have to make sure that we have enough depth for next year. That’s something that we’ll focus on in the offseason.”

Remember that the Jackets no longer have James Wisniewski on the payroll; he was traded to Anaheim at the deadline, with no defensemen coming back in the deal.

Fedor Tyutin and Jack Johnson are the only real veteran defenders under contract.

Related: Kekalainen ‘worried’ about Murray’s development after three injury-plagued years