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March 5, 2013 | 11:04pm ET
GM denies Johnson trade rumor

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was quick to deny a report suggesting the team was in talks to trade defenseman Jack Johnson to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kekalainen, his assistant Chris MacFarland, and senior advisor Craig Patrick, attended a Penguins game on Monday, sparking speculation.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Tuesday that the Penguins have interest in Johnson, and would be willing to part with 21-year-old Simon Despres as part of a deal.

However, if Johnson were available, it would be news to the Blue Jackets.

"It's silly," Kekalainen told Columbus Dispatch beat reporter Aaron Portzline. "I don't usually respond to this kind of stuff, but this is just silly. I went to watch a game. (Penguins GM) Ray Shero is a friend of mine."

The Blue Jackets do not appear interested in moving Johnson, who has five-years left on his contract beyond this season.

Kekalainen is scouting several teams, though, as he's weighing all of his options as the April 3 trade deadline inches closer.

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