OFFICIAL: The #CBJ names Brad Larsen the eighth head coach in franchise history.
DETAILS https://t.co/LHA1Okfymr pic.twitter.com/2wTZrt7RR6
– Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) June 10, 2021
Larsen, 44, a former NHL forward who has been an assistant coach for the Blue Jackets for the past seven seasons, has accepted a three-year contract until the 2023-24 season, said general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.
“We went through an exhaustive process where we took a very close look at a number of outstanding candidates to be the next coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the one person we kept coming back to was Brad Larsen,” said Kekalainen. in a press release. “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, about our staff and our organization through his work ethic, his hockey sense and he treats people, and we couldn’t be happier 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 under Tortorella and Todd Richards. He was with the team as they made four consecutive playoff appearances, from 2017 to 2020. Larsen, 43, began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the AHL Springfield Falcons. from 2010 to 2012.
“I am 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 touched and honored to be the head coach of this hockey club,” said Larsen said.
Tortorella, 62, the most successful 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 that saw the Blue Jackets plunge to last place in their division as the coach acknowledged the inability to influence the team’s culture.
The Blue Jackets were 227-166-54 under Tortorella, including a 50-24-8 franchise best in 2016-17.