New Blue Jackets GM Waddell Dismisses Coach Vincent

New Blue Jackets GM Waddell Dismisses Coach Vincent
Columbus Blue Jackets Coach Pascal Vincent leaves the ice after a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., on April 7, 2024. (James Guillory/USA TODAY via Field Level Media)
Field Level Media

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday fired Coach Pascal Vincent after just one season.

The Blue Jackets went 27–43–12 last season, and their 66 points were the fewest in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. The change comes less than three weeks after Don Waddell took over as general manager and president of hockey operations.

“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,” Mr. Waddell said in a news release. “On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Pascal for his work ethic, professionalism, and contributions during his three seasons with the Blue Jackets.”

Mr. Vincent, 52, was a Blue Jackets assistant coach for two seasons and was promoted to head coach after the resignation of Mike Babcock before the beginning of last season. Mr. Waddell was hired by Columbus on May 28 after spending the past six seasons in a similar role with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Mr. Waddell’s task is to transform a team that has finished last in the East in back-to-back seasons and has missed the postseason in four straight seasons.

Upon taking the job, Mr. Waddell said he would take some time to study Mr. Vincent before making a decision. He said he hadn’t previously met Mr. Vincent.

“You don’t walk into a new place where people sit here and make changes without having a reason to change,” Mr. Waddell said in late May.

No decisions were announced involving the rest of the coaching staff. The Blue Jackets are moving forward in a search of a new coach.