COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Blue Jackets promoted Brad Larsen Thursday to fill the head coach vacancy left after Columbus parted ways with John Tortorella after six seasons in charge.
OFFICIAL: The #CBJ make Brad Larsen the eighth head coach in franchise history.
– Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) June 10, 2021
The 44-year-old Larsen, a former NHL forward who has been an assistant coach for the Blue Jackets for the past seven seasons, has agreed to a three-year contract through the 2023-24 season, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.
“We went through a comprehensive process in which we took a very close look at several prominent candidates to be the next Columbus Blue Jackets coach and the only person we kept coming back to was Brad Larsen,” Kekalainen said in a statement. “Brad was one of the best young coaches in the American Hockey League when he joined our club as an assistant coach and over the past seven years he has earned the respect of our players, staff and organization with his work ethic, acumen to hockey and the way he treats people, and we couldn’t be more pleased to introduce him as our next head coach. “
The Blue Jackets are 269-208-59 during Larsen’s time as an assistant, which included stints working with Tortorella and Todd Richards. He has been with the team since he made four consecutive postseason appearances, from 2017 to 2020. Larsen, 43, began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the AHL Springfield Falcons from 2010-12.
“I have been extremely proud to be a Columbus Blue Jacket and to be a part of this wonderful community for the past seven years, and I am honored and honored to be the head coach of this hockey club,” said Larsen.
Tortorella, 62, the winningest coach in franchise history, was in the final year of his contract when he was fired in May. The move came as no surprise after a tumultuous season in which the Blue Jackets sank to the very end. place in his division amid the coach’s admitted inability to influence team culture.
The Blue Jackets finished 227-166-54 under Tortorella, including a franchise-best 50-24-8 result in 2016-17.