“Finally on the right path” “You gotta do what you gotta do”: NHL fans react as Columbus Blue Jackets relieve Pascal Vincent of head coaching duties

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at San Jose Sharks
NHL fans are making their voices heard on the removal of Pascal Vincent as head coach of Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that coach Pascal Vincent has been relieved of his duties.

Blue Jackets president of hockey operations and GM Don Waddell released a statement in which the club announced the removal of Vincent from his position. Additionally, the release stated that no further decisions have been made at this time.

The decision has been met with a flurry of reaction from Columbus Blue Jackets fans. Here’s a look at the most interesting reactions to the club’s decision.

This fan chimed in:

Another fan dropped their thoughts:

While most fans seemed relatively optimistic about the coaching change, other fans took advantage of the opportunity to offer their own coaching suggestions.

This fan weighed in:

"Jay Woodcroft, come on down"

This fan opined:

"Evason, McLellan or Woodcroft would be a good hire for #CBJ."

Another fan chimed in:

"Promote Marc Recchi already."

There is no word yet on who could replace Vincent as the Columbus Blue Jackets’ next head coach. Meanwhile, Don Waddell will set out on the task of finding the right candidate to fit his vision for the team.

A potential candidate for the Columbus Blue Jackets' head coaching vacancy

A piece by the Columbus Dispatch from May 2023 discussed the various coaching candidates interviewed for the bench boss position available then. The candidates included Travis Green, Andrew Brunette, and Peter Laviolette. All of these coaches found jobs elsewhere.

The Columbus Blue Jackets eventually hired Mike Babcock, whom they fired before he coached a single game. But among the candidates interviewed was Kirk Muller. He was an assistant with the Calgary Flames at the time. Since then, he’s moved on to another assistant position with the Washington Capitals.

Muller is an intriguing choice, as his name has circulated among other head coaching vacancies. Muller’s name came up for the San Jose Sharks vacancy and emerged as a dark horse for the Seattle Kraken. So, could the ColumBlue Jackets circle back to Kirk Muller?

It’s a possibility. With several experienced coaches rumored to be available, such as Tood McLellan or former Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft, Muller may get moved down the list. But there could be a possibility for Muller, considering that he’s already been in the Blue Jackets’ sights.

However, that interview process happened under former GM Jarmo Kekalainen. This time, new GM Don Waddell will oversee the process. Knowing Waddell’s personality, he’ll look for a tough, no-nonsense coach to help the Columbus Blue Jackets’ young core develop.

Perhaps Muller could be the right candidate after all. It remains to be seen which names emerge as potential frontrunners for yet another NHL head coaching vacancy.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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