Blue Jackets Fire Coach Pascal Vincent After One Season

Vincent was fired after just one season coaching Columbus.

The team had a rough year, ending with a record of 27-43-12. Vincent never really got a fair shot at success. Initially, Mike Babcock was supposed to be the head coach for this season, but he resigned before it even started due to an investigation into his conduct with players. The Blue Jackets were not expected to make the playoffs, but they hoped to improve from last year’s 59 points. They did get seven more points this season but still ended up in the bottom five of the league.

The defense didn’t get much better despite adding Ivan Provorov and Damon Severson; they allowed 298 goals, only fewer than the Sharks’ 326.

Coaching Changes and Team Performance

Vincent joined Columbus as an associate coach in 2021 after working with the Jets and their AHL team, Manitoba Moose. Now that he’s gone, the search for a new coach starts right away. Assistants like Jared Boll and Mark Recchi are staying put for now, but more changes might come soon.

Fans might think it’s about time for some fresh faces on the coaching staff .

Vincent faced criticism this season over how he handled young players’ development. David Jiříček, picked sixth overall in 2022, played in 43 games but averaged only about 14 minutes per game without any special teams play. Despite limited time on ice, Jiříček managed to score 10 points and had decent possession stats. Kirill Marchenko had a good season with a team-high of 23 goals, yet overall, their young core didn’t click as expected. Adam Fantilli’s injury also hurt their progress.

Under Vincent’s guidance, there were slight improvements: they controlled nearly half of shot attempts and scoring chances at even strength compared to last year’s numbers which were worse by at least one percentage point each.

Late Start in Coaching Search

Columbus is now late to find a new coach since other teams have already filled their vacancies; Ryan Warsofsky was promoted by the Sharks just last week. It’s unlikely Vincent will start next season as an NHL head coach again soon; however, he might find opportunities as an assistant or associate coach elsewhere.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman broke the news about Vincent being let go first.

What do you think about these changes? Do you agree with them?

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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