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Blue Jackets Fire Head Coach Pascal Vincent

After Columbus ended with only 27 wins this season, Don Waddell was named GM of the Blue Jackets in May. Are any more changes anticipated?

The Columbus Blue Jackets have decided to relieve Pascal Vincent of his head coaching duties. Vincent was hired last offseason after Mike Babcock resigned from the organization.

This season, the Blue Jackets’ record was 27-43-12, and they finished dead last in the Eastern Conference.

Vincent, 52, first joined the Blue Jackets as an assistant coach in 2021. Prior to that, he was the head coach of the Manitoba Moose of the AHL for five seasons and the assistant coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 2011 to 2016. He also was a head coach in the QMJHL for Cape Breton and Montreal from 2000 to 2011.

Blue Jackets General Manager Don Waddell Announces the Change

Blue Jackets GM Don Waddell spoke about Vincent through the following statement:

“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. 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 search for a new head coach for the Blue Jackets will begin immediately.

Blue Jackets Continue To Make Drastic Changes

Vincent’s utilization of young players in the lineup was a major criticism throughout the season. Players such as David Jiricek, Kent Johnson, and Adam Fantilli often saw fewer minutes than their veteran counterparts. It’s safe to assume that the next coach will be expected to give young players more opportunities in the lineup.

This change is just the latest regarding the team’s personnel. In February, the team fired longtime general manager (GM) Jarmo Kekalainen, with John Davidson becoming the interim. At the end of May, the team hired former Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell as their new GM and President of Hockey Operations.

The team is still expected to make some changes on the ice regarding the roster. But for now, the focus must shift towards finding a coach to work with Columbus’s many younger players.

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