Kekalainen isn’t trading yet, but give him time

Is Kekalainen in the market?

“We will look at any way possible of improving our team,” he said. “You guys are going to get sick of hearing me say that.”

Rather than hitting the scouting trail, Kekalainen has been sticking close to the Jackets since he arrived in Columbus. It is an indication that his first priority is the trade deadline. He is figuring out which players he wants to keep and which to discard.

Does Kekalainen yet have a read on his team?

“I can’t know everything after five games and 10 practices, but I know a lot more now than I did two weeks ago,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process. I want to turn over every stone and keep improving. I need to know exactly where we are — all the time.”

Is anyone untouchable?

Kekalainen was not going to touch that question (other than to reiterate that he will look at any possible way of improving his team). But we can speculate. It is that time of year.

Ryan Johansen, Ryan Murray, John Moore, Boone Jenner — young players and high draft picks whose potential fits into future plans — maybe they are untouchable. Anyone else? Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Dorsett, maybe? Maybe.

This is a last-place team. It is trying to change its culture. Who does not fit? Soon, Kekalainen will let everyone know.