The Columbus Blue Jackets promoted from within to find their new head coach, naming longtime assistant coach Brad Larsen to the position and signing him to a three-year contract.
Larsen replaces John Tortorella, with whom the team parted ways in May. It will be Larsen’s first stint as head coach in the NHL. Larsen has been an assistant coach with the team for the past seven seasons.
“We underwent an exhaustive process in which we looked very closely at a number of outstanding candidates to be the next coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the one individual we kept coming back to throughout was Brad Larsen,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.
Larsen, 43, spent two seasons as the head coach of the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons from 2012-14, leading the club to two of the three division titles won by a Blue Jackets affiliate in franchise history.
“I’ve been extremely proud to be a Columbus Blue Jacket and be part of this wonderful community for the past seven years, and I am humbled and honored to be the head coach of this hockey club,” said Larsen.
Tortorella went 227-166-54 in six seasons with the Blue Jackets and is the franchise’s all-time winningest coach. Columbus stumbled to an 18-26-12 record this past season and finished in last place in the Central Division.
–Field Level Media