Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Update On Columbus Blue Jackets Coaching Vacancy

The Columbus Blue Jackets search for a new head coach continues. It is known, however, that it will not be Todd McLellan.

McLellan Out Of Running For Head Coach Vacancy

Talks on a multi-year deal with the Blue Jackets went back and forth for about a week. However, nothing was agreed upon to make McLellan the head coach.

McLellan was fired by the Los Angeles Kings after the Kings were once again eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. McLellan has been the head coach for the Kings, Edmonton Oilers, and the San Jose Sharks. While he has consistently gotten teams to the playoffs, teams have had trouble getting over the hump and advancing.

The Blue Jackets fired head coach Pascal Vincent in June. Vincent took over following Mike Babcock’s resignation.

Money Appears To Have Been A Key Detriment

Despite being fired by the Kings, McLellan is still owed money for the next season. In order to have hired McLellan, the Blue Jackets had to negotiate how much of next season’s salary they would pay. While nothing has been confirmed at this point, it is possible the Blue Jackets and Kings could not agree to a cost.

The Next Step?

McLellan is out of the running for now, but it does not mean talks may not resume at some point. Whatever the detriment was that stalled negotiations could be worked out. It is also possible the Blue Jackets will be willing to concede some as training camp gets closer.

McLellan has a nice coaching resume. He will get another head coach job at some point. He may just have to wait until next off-season when his contract is up.

For the Blue Jackets, August is fast approaching. Not having a head coach yet is not something that would have wanted at this point in the summer.

Currently, Jay Woodcroft and Dean Evason are two other candidates for the job. Woodcroft started the 2023-24 season as the Oilers head coach before being fired. Evason started the season as the Minnesota Wild coach before he was also fired.

Another option for the Blue Jackets could be Joel Quenneville, who was recently reinstated following an indefinite suspension. It is unknown at this time if the Blue Jackets are interested. Hiring Quenneville would certainly create public relations problems for the organization.

It is also possible the Blue Jackets hire someone with no prior experience as a head coach. Whether that it someone already within the organization or someone from the outside, a rookie head coach could be something to consider. The Blue Jackets are not expected to contend this season. They are not risking anything by bringing in a rookie head coach. They could be pleasantly surprised. The results could not be good, but the Blue Jackets will not be in any worse shape.

Main Photo: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports



More Posts

Send Us A Message