Piggy-backing on the announcement of the hiring of Craig Hartsburg as associate coach earlier today, the Blue Jackets have announced that Keith Acton will join Todd Richards' staff as well. Acton is an NHL lifer, having spent more than 30 years as a player and a coach. Most recently, he was an assistant with the Maple Leafs from 2001-2011. Prior to that he had stints with the Flyers and Rangers.
Prior to becoming a coach, he played over 1,000 games in the NHL as a centerman. He was an All Star in the early 80s, and won a Cup with the Oilers in 1988.
"Keith is a quality person who brings a lot of experience, both as an assistant coach and player in the NHL, to our coaching staff," said Richards. "My goal has been to surround myself with knowledgeable and experienced people who could add a lot to our staff and I think we have done that with the group of coaches we have here."
This is yet another move to bring proven coaches with NHL experience to the club, and in that respect it has to be applauded. Acton and Hartsburg join Dan Hinote, who is returning for his third season as an assistant with the team. It remains to be seen whether Hinote will return to his previous role of "eye in the sky" up in the press box during games, or if he will remain behind the bench.