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Battle With Kings: Todd McLellan Out as Blue Jackets Head Coach

After a battle with the Los Angeles Kings over salary, Todd McLellan is out as the Columbus Blue Jackets neat Head Coach

Todd McLellan will not be the next head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets (or so it seems), as an agreement on a multi-year contract could not be reached between McLellan, the Blue Jackets, and his former club, the Los Angeles Kings. This development has been confirmed by Aaron Portzline, who noted that unless Columbus adjusts their contract offer, McLellan is no longer a candidate for the position.

The Blue Jackets’ coaching search is complicated by the fact that their believed candidates, including McLellan, Dean Evason, and Jay Woodcroft, all have contracts with their former clubs that run through next season. This situation necessitates two rounds of negotiations. First, Columbus must negotiate a salary that is acceptable to the former club, which pays the remaining balance of the coach’s contract. Only after the former club approves can the Blue Jackets negotiate directly with the coach for the remaining years of the contract. Clearly, the Blue Jackets have hit a snag in those conversations.

Blue Jackets Didn’t Want to Pay McLellan’s Full Salary

It’s all about the money, even though McLellan seemed to be the Blue Jackets’ top choice. Portzline explains:

“Unless #CBJ want to pay full freight next season – $5.5M for McLellan, $2M (roughly) for Evason and Woodcroft – GM Don Waddell must negotiate a salary that’s acceptable to the former club, which pays the remaining balance. They must approve before the coach is allowed to take the new job. Once the #CBJ and the former club agree on ’24-25 portions, the next negotiation is directly between #CBJ and the coach for the remaining years on the contract.”

The inability to secure McLellan suggests he was the priority for the Blue Jackets, but they are only willing to go so far to secure his services. Now that he is out of the running, Columbus must explore other options. For McLellan, he’s likely confident another coaching job will open up at the end of next season or down the road.

Todd McLellan Kings Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets might circle back with an adjusted offer for McLellan or focus on candidates like Evason and Woodcroft. They may even go another direction completely and not hire someone from a team that recently let a candidate go.

This development leaves the Blue Jackets’ coaching situation in flux, making it crucial for GM Don Waddell to figure something out over the next few weeks.

Next: Are Holloway and Broberg Offer Sheets a Real Concern for Oilers?

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