Brad Larsen Promoted to Blue Jackets Head Coaching Position

Former NHL winger Brad Larsen was announced as the new head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday in a three-year deal. He will be replacing the infamously rigid John Tortorella.

The Jackets are at the precipice of a slump. They are inevitably going to lose Seth Jones in free agency, an All-Star defensemen who some had hoped would take up the mantle of captaincy. Unfortunately for them, Jones and management never even got to the point where they were stipulating price ranges or an extension. He told the team off the bat that he isn’t interested in evaluating his future with the team. To make matters worse, Max Domi will miss 5-6 months following shoulder surgery on June 3.

The silver lining is that the organization stayed-put in the draft lottery to retain the fifth overall pick. The team traded away their captain Nick Foligno to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the trade deadline. With Jones’ exit looming, they have to decide between bolstering their back end or filling Foligno’s spot. The good news is this: They also own the first-round picks of Toronto and Tampa Bay.

When asked about the situation, GM Jarmo Kekäläinen said, “I think that gives us a lot of flexibility”. They need to find a worthy player(s) to put alongside Finnish star Patrik Laine. His plan of action is to find one of those in a trade and get the team stronger with established talent.