And the 9th Head Coach of Your Columbus Blue Jackets is…..

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And the 9th Head Coach of Your Columbus Blue Jackets is……

Once again Jarmo Kekalainen, and the Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves in need of a Head Coach. Brad Larsen was relieved of his post on April 15th after going 62-85-16 in 163 games. Despite a fast start in the 2021-2022 season the Blue Jackets broke their own record for most goals against in a single season, 300. Larsen kept the Jackets in the playoff conversation until around mid-March, and they would finish sixth in the Metro. 

2022-2023 Season was a different story, tripping right out the gate, the Blue Jackets turbulent season just kept getting worse. Losing 563-man games to injury, breaking their record for most goals given up for the second year in a row, 330, the Jackets were ready to be done. Finishing eighth in the Metro and 31st in the league, Jarmo decided it was best to dismiss Larsen. So, who replaces him? 

Pascal Vincent 

Pascal Vincent would be another “internal hire” having been the Jackets Associate Coach since 2021. Current players respect Coach Passy. This would be his first NHL Head coaching job. 

Vincent was head coach of the AHLs Manitoba Moose coaching 325 games from 2016-2021 going 155-139-31. In 2017-2018 the Moose made the Calder Cup playoffs, losing in the second round. This earned Vincent Coach of the Year honors. 

After Larsen, I am sure Jackets fans are leery of another internal hire.

Bruce Boudreau (617-342-128)

Bruce Boudreau is an intriguing selection. He has been coaching since 1992, having been a head coach since 2007. In his first season with the Washington Capitals, he won the Jack Adams Coach of the Year award and led the Caps to the playoffs, losing to the Flyers in the Conference Quarterfinals. 

   Most recently, Boudreau was behind the beach for the Vancouver Canucks, coaching just forty-six games, before being fired after going 18-25-3. 

  Boudreau is an offensive minded coach, which may not be the best hire for a team that struggles so much on the defensive side of the puck. 

  One thing is for sure, players and fans really like Boudreau, having him in Columbus would be sure to change things up a bit. 

Jukka Jalonen 

Jukka Jalonen is a dark horse, but every time there is a coaching vacancy, his name seems to come up. Jalonen is the Finnish Head Coach, having led the IIHF World Championship team to Gold in 2011, 2019, and 2022. 

Teams coached by him have won 6 Gold, 4 Silver, and 3 Bronze Medals. He was named the Finnish Coach of the Year in 2011, 2016, and 2022.

Like I said, Jalonen is a dark horse candidate, he is a hard-nosed European Hockey coach, famous for coaching smaller, faster teams to success. The Blue Jackets are a smaller statured team, but their skaters are fast, with the right coach, could this be a recipe for success in the modern NHL?


There are a few other “candidates” that have been thrown out there: Claude Julien, who has gone 667-455-10 in 1275 career games coached. Including leading the Boston Bruins to their last Stanley Cup victory in 2011.

Peter Laviolette, who was fired by Washington at the end of the 22-23 season. Laviolette has a record of 752-503-25 in 1430 games. Leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup Championship in 2006.

Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets Head of Player Development. Rick has no NHL coaching experience, but he is both a player and fan favorite in the building.

Those are the names that keep popping up in the circle of who might be the next Blue Jackets Head Coach. Let me know what you think by dropping a comment here or on our Facebook page.





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