Blue Jackets Looking For Experienced Head Coach

Don Waddell speaks to the media after being hired as CBJ GM
Don Waddell speaks to the media after being hired as CBJ GM Photo: WSYX

On Thursday, June 20, the Columbus Blue Jacket’s new President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Don Waddell met with the media. During the press conference, Waddell mainly answered questions about firing former head coach Pascal Vincent, the search for a new head coach, the upcoming draft, and what might happen with Patrik Laine.

Related Post: Blue Jackets Offseason Update: A Fresh Start For Laine, New Number for Fantilli, And More

Patrik Laine

Recently the news broke that Patrik Laine had requested a trade before he entered the NHLPA Player’s Assistance Program. No teams can talk to Laine until he’s released from the program. Waddell said he expects the release “any day”. When asked about how hard Laine will be to move and if some salary may need to be retained, Waddell said,

“Our hope is that we wouldn’t have to hold money. We want to make a hockey trade if we can. We’ll certainly exhaust every opportunity and every team that potentially has interest in him.”

The Search For a Head Coach

Before the hiring of Waddell former President and Interim GM John Davidson said that the organization was looking for a new general manager with experience who could take them to the “next level”. It seems that Waddell is also following a similar idea by looking for a new head coach who is experienced. Vincent was not let go right away but after meeting with him a few times Waddell decided it was time for a change.

“I took a couple of weeks, obviously. I met with him multiple times. The other day, it was my decision that I thought that we needed to go a different direction.” – Don Waddell

Waddell also mentioned that the Blue Jackets are the only team in the NHL looking for a head coach. That means every candidate he would like to talk to could be available. He also mentioned that his list of candidates was 12 people. Here’s what he had to say,

“We’re not going to interview 12 people. We’re going to do our due diligence, very thoroughly, and once we get to a point that we’re all comfortable of interviewing. … Right now, we got a little window here to make sure we get this right. And the best way to get right is to make sure we unturn every rock that we possibly can about anybody that’s available that would want to coach this team”

Later Waddell was asked if he would consider an experienced coach like Joel Quenneville when he becomes eligible to coach in the NHL again. He said,

“Probably not my best interest to talk about what might happen. Obviously, we all know that Joel is still held back by the league. I think I’ll leave it to the league to eventually answer that question.”

Waddell also said that he doesn’t think that he will have to “sell” or make a pitch to someone about a head coaching position.

“I don’t think you have to sell coaches for this reason … There’s a lot of good pieces here. If you’re a coach, they know the roster … The ones that we’re talking to, for the most part, they know what we have here.”

He thinks that if a candidate does their homework they’re going to “sell themselves”. One thing he noted was that he thinks Columbus is a good city and that family life could be a selling point and that “the hockey will sell itself”.

Look out for some articles over the next few weeks where I’ll be looking at several options for head coach.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Lance Schrock

Credentialed Writer covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. Host of the BrewJackets Podcast.

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