Insider Answers Question: Is Pascal Vincent Committing "Career Suicide"?

Columbus Blue Jackets players probably thought they dodged a bullet when Mike Babcock was forced to resign before even beginning his tenure there. But his replacement, rookie head coach Pascal Vincent, has been no picnic for players to adjust to. 

In fact, NHL Insider Darren Dreger of TSN is calling it "culture shock" for the likes of Patrik Laine and Johnny Gaudreau, who were benched Thursday night for most of the third period. And this isn't the first time he's benched a star player in the first month of the season. But Dreger says Vincent can't be acting alone here:

Pascal Vincent as a new NHL head coach isn't doing this without the support of (general manager) Jarmo Kekalainen and the management of the Columbus Blue Jackets, otherwise it's bordline career suicide, right? You're not taking on your 4th-liners, or a depth defenseman or messing around with a starting goaltender. No, no, no, no—You're going head-to-head with your so-called stars. 

I'm just curious how this is going to play out... Are you trying to break Johnny Gaudreau? Is that what you're trying to do?

What shocks Dreger about all this is that it's the second time in 11 days that Gaudreau—a 40-goal, 115-point man the season before last—has been benched by Vincent down the end of close games. 

Gaudreau could (decide) that game in favor of the Blue Jackets in one single shift. He's got that level of talent. And in both occasions, they lost those games benching Gaudreau by A GOAL... If I'm an owner in Columbus, I'm going, 'Really?? Jarmo, you talked about us being a... playoff-worthy team. And this is the direction we're going?? Does that make sense?' 

Gaudreau, by the way, has just six points in 17 games, and his only goal was an empty-netter. He's also minus-7. 

Strange times in Columbus... Even without Mike Babcock.