Many thought it wouldn’t happen, but here we are. The Columbus Blue Jackets announced this morning that they have fired head coach Brad Larsen. Larsen has been with the Blue Jackets since being hired as an assistant coach in the AHL in 2010 and then as an NHL assistant in 2014. He was hired as the head coach after John Tortorella left the team after the 2020-21 season. He was 62-86-16 (.427) as the head coach.
By all accounts, Brad Larsen is a fantastic human being. He was there for the team, and specifically Elvis Merzlikins, after the tragic death of Matiss Kivlenieks. His kind and thoughtful demeanor undoubtedly left a mark on many in the organization. Best of luck to him and his family as they move on to their next chapter.
The Blue Jackets also announced they will not renew the contract of goaltending coach Manny Legace. Legace has been with the club for five seasons. It would not be surprising if this were a move solely made for Merzlikins. The goalie has a very close relationship with the coach and has struggled over the last few seasons. It may not be a reflection on Legace as a coach, but more of a change in voice for Merzlikins.
As of now, Vincent and McCarthy are still with the club, but that could change depending on who ends up as the next head coach.
Let the speculation begin.