Columbus Blue Jackets Make Shocking Personnel Decision

 When GM Don Waddell came in to take over the Columbus Blue Jackets late last month, his immediate goal was to get to know everyone in the organization as well as possible—especially head coach Pascal Vincent. Well, it seems that that "getting to know each other phase" is over, and so is Vincent's time as the Blue Jackets head coach. He has been relieved of his duties.

Vincent was certainly thrust into a difficult spot at the last minute before this season, taking over the team behind the bench right at the start of training camp when it was forced to unexpectedly fire their intended new head coach, Mike Babcock, due to some off-ice issues. 

Earlier this month, Waddell said of his intentions with Vincent, “Pascal is the coach today. He’s got another year on his contract. He and I are going to spend a lot of time together. I don’t know him, and I want to get to know him as a person first. 

"I can hear all the surrounding noise, but I’m not going to make a decision on somebody I don’t know. That’s not my style. I’ll make sure I check all the boxes on my end. If he’s a fit, we’ll move forward. If not, we’ll have to have those discussions.”

Those discussions have obviously now been had, and Waddell explained the move today as follows: “As I spent time with Pascal over the past few weeks, I found him to be an outstanding person and smart hockey coach who worked very hard last year under trying circumstances, but I believe a change behind the bench is in our team’s best interest."

The Blue Jackets finished a disappointing season in last place in the Metropolitan Division, with a 27-43-12 mark, worst in the Eastern Conference. 

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