Jackets’ new GM Waddell fires Vincent as coach


Pascal Vincent is no longer coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets with the team announcing Monday they’ve parted ways after less than one season.

Vincent’s dismissal comes after he guided the Blue Jackets to a 27-43-12 record that saw them finish with the fewest points in the Eastern Conference, the fourth-fewest points in the NHL and miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.

Moving on from Vincent is also the latest development for a Blue Jackets’ franchise that has undergone numerous changes over the last few months. Back in February, they fired general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, who had been with the team since the 2012-13 season. The Blue Jackets then used the offseason to hire Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell in late May as their new GM and president of hockey operations.

“As I spent time with Pascal over the past few weeks, I found him to be an outstanding person and smart hockey coaches who worked very hard under trying circumstances, but I believe a change behind the bench is in our team’s best interest,” Waddell said. “On behalf of our organization I want to thank Pascal for his work ethic, professionalism and contributions during his three seasons with the Blue Jackets.”

The Blue Jackets hired Vincent as an assistant coach prior to the start of the 2021-22 season. He was elevated to head coach less than a month before the start of the regular season after Mike Babcock resigned in the wake of allegations that he violated players’ privacy when he asked to see pictures on their cellphones.

What ultimately became Vincent’s lone season in charge of the Blue Jackets was one filled with challenges. They lost nine straight games in November and would only win three of their 15 games that month.

It would set the stage for the Blue Jackets to have eight separate three-game losing streaks throughout the season. The last of those skids came when they lost four straight games from April 7 through April 13.

Whomever Waddell selects to take over will look to change the fortunes of a team that allowed the second-most goals per game, had the second-worst power-play, a bottom 10 penalty kill and scored the 24th fewest goals per game.

Furthermore, it would fill what is currently the only head coaching vacancy in the NHL. Eight teams have either hired a new coach or in the case of the Los Angeles Kings elevated an interim coach to head coach. The most recent hire came four days ago when the San Jose Sharks announced they promoted assistant coach Ryan Warsofsky.

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