Blue Jackets GM 'not concerned' about starting season with porous defense

Geoff Burke / Reuters

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen isn't worried about beginning the 2015-16 campaign with essentially the same defensemen he had last season.

"I'm not concerned at all if we have to start the season with this group," Kekalainen told NHL.com's Craig Merz.

The Blue Jackets ranked sixth-worst in the league in goals allowed per game in 2014-15, surrendering 3.02 goals per contest.

Defenseman Ryan Murray, the team's second overall pick in 2012, was limited to 12 games after suffering knee and ankle injuries. Kekalainen said in June that he believed a healthy Murray would be the summer's best acquisition.

"Our D will improve," forward Scott Hartnell said. "(Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky) is always pretty solid. I like what we've got going here."

The Blue Jackets GM didn't upgrade otherwise on defense, but he did shuffle the club's forward group, adding Brandon Saad in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks that sent Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, and Corey Tropp to Chicago. Columbus also signed veteran Gregory Campbell on July 1.

"We've got very deep forwards," Hartnell said. "We need to have a good summer and get excited for this season and pick up where we left off."

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Blue Jackets GM 'not concerned' about starting season with porous defense
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