Columbus Blue Jackets Coach Brad Larsen Replacement Odds & Top Candidates
Here's the question NHL fans are asking: Who could be the next Columbus Blue Jackets coach?
Sure, our “NHL Coaches On The Hot Seat” got people talking about the coaches that might get fired. Funny enough, quite a few of those coaches are now looking for a job.
How about the next logical step? Naturally, a coach must be hired to fill the vacancy if a coach is fired. This is never an easy process. While the NHL betting sites aren't listing coaching replacement odds, our sports betting experts have odds on who might be the next Blue Jackets coach.
Let’s List A Few Candidates
Again, it seemed strange that associate coach Pascal Vincent was spared the ax in Columbus. However, players and management do seem to like him. There are the usual retreads, including Peter Laviolette, Gerard Gallant, Darryl Sutter and Bruce Boudreau.
Columbus might even be tempted to go the college coaching route with Rand Pecknold. The Quinnipiac coach comes off a national title. Then, there is Andrew Brunette from New Jersey. The assistant does have a brush with the law, but little doubt lies in how the Devils surged offensively this season.
Put Some Odds On It? Sure!
This one was not so easy, but let’s try anyway.
Projected odds set by Gambling.com are not currently available at legal sports betting sites. This page will be updated should odds become available.
Again, Columbus could surprise us with something out of left field. Management says they want to name a coach by May 21, when the Worlds start. However, there is no set schedule, and they may or may not pay top dollar for a coach. This seems ripe for another quick decision that is budget-friendly. We shall see.
Why Are We Here In The First Place?
When Brad Larsen was hired, it was a move the Columbus media mostly praised, aside from a few grumblings. Larsen’s first season was average, as Columbus hovered around .500 from start to finish. Expectations were higher after Johnny Gaudreau was brought in during the off-season.
It is safe to say nothing went right during the 2022-23 season. Columbus piled up a whopping 563 man-games lost to injury, which set a franchise record. Too many significant players lost chunks of time that could never be recovered.
However, Larsen did not help matters as he stumbled through game and player management decisions far too often. Granted, the volume of injuries was considerable. The coach watched his team get blown out far too many nights, and worse, players and media started to air their grievances publicly.
Columbus was one of the worst teams in the NHL all season and finished 25-48-9. Losing 16 of their final 21 games was bad enough, but so much exasperation over player development led to the ultimate dismissal of Larsen.
Who Would Want To Coach In Columbus?
Again, Jarmo Kekalainen is still the general manager in Columbus and has input on who his next coach will be. How long will he be around, though? Columbus needs better injury luck, but the past few seasons have not been good in that department.
A new coach for the Blue Jackets must be able to win more often, which is obvious. He has to know player development and in-game decision-making. Both of those aspects were wildly lacking in the previous two seasons. With the third pick in the draft and some room for moves, Columbus could be a place to go.
Columbus is looking to make a decision sooner rather than later. The Blue Jackets have kept things tight-lipped, even suggesting a new coach could be named by later this week. That is not a misprint.
Why Might Vincent Lead The Way?
The assistant was an AHL and QMJHL coach of the year. Simply, Vincent knows the players, the system and what management wants to do. Some argued he should have been hired over Larsen. Columbus has a long-term rebuild or retool, or whatever one wants to call it.
Which way does management lean? Vincent has more general coaching experience than any candidate that has not coached in the NHL before.
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