NHL Rumors: Elliotte Friedman speculates on two potential candidates for Columbus Blue Jackets' head coaching vacancy

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens
Two potential candidates for Columbus Blue Jackets head coach position

On Monday, The Columbus Blue Jackets fired their coach, Pascal Vincent, after ending the season with 66 points. They ranked at the bottom of the 2023-24 Metropolitan Division Standings. He was fired after one year as head coach due to injuries and poor performance. General Manager Don Waddell made the decision and has begun looking for a replacement coach.

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman talked about possible new coaches for the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. He mentioned Bob Hartley as a potential candidate.

"I think it’s obvious to me, Columbus, they’re going to go experience here," Friedman said Tuesday on The Jeff Marek Show. "I really think they are. I’ll tell you this, someone said to me, ‘I have no idea if he’s even remotely interested in coaching,’ but they wondered if Don Waddell would talk to Bob Hartley."

Friedman considers Claude Julien because of his teaching structure.

"Claude Julien is a great call. It really is," Friedman said. "You want someone who teaches structure. … The way Vincent coached this year, it really showed to me that they wanted to, especially some of the players there, they wanted to make it more demanding on them. It didn’t work but that doesn’t mean you can’t hire someone who is demanding and has structure."

Both Bob Hartley and Claude Julien could bring the discipline and leadership the team needs after a tumultuous season. Pascal Vincent stepped in after Mike Babcock resigned and faced numerous challenges.

Columbus Blue Jackets had a strong playoff run in 2018-19 under John Tortorella but has struggled since then. Brad Larsen took over from Tortorella but was dismissed after two bad seasons, which led to Pascal Vincent's brief stint as coach.

Columbus Blue Jackets opted for a coaching change

After firing Pascal Vincent on Monday, Don Waddell said a change was best for the team.

"As I spent time with Pascal over the past few weeks, I found him to be an outstanding person and smart hockey coach who worked very hard last year under trying circumstances, but I believe a change behind the bench is in our team's best interest," Waddell said (via NHL.com).

He thanked Vincent for his hard work.

"On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Pascal for his work ethic, professionalism and contributions during his three seasons with the Blue Jackets."

The team struggled with goals and special teams. The Columbus Blue Jackets have key players under contract. They have picks in the upcoming draft. Eleven NHL coaches were fired this season.

Also read: 3 reasons why Pascal Vincent’s stint as Columbus Blue Jackets head coach was short

Quick Links

Edited by Ribin Peter
App download animated image Get the free App now