The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced head coach Brad Larsen will be stepping away from the team after a death in the family.
Associate Coach Pascal Vincent will be behind the bench for today’s Blue Jackets/Golden Knights game. Larsen is a former NHL player who played as a winger for the Colorado Avalanche and Atlanta Thrashers throughout his eight-year NHL career.
He was one of the final six players and spent most of his time playing in the American Hockey League. In 294 NHL games, he scored 19 goals and 48 points with 134 penalty minutes. He started coaching professionally right after his playing career ended at the age of 33.
Larsen served as an assistant coach for the AHL’s Springfield Falcons for two seasons before being promoted to head coach the next two seasons. He had great success in Springfield, leading them to a combined record of 92-45-15.
While coaching the Falcons, he had the good fortune to mentor future NHL players Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Johansen, Nick Holden, Cam Atkinson, David Savard and none other than Daily face-to-faceis Mike McKenna’s own.
Larsen was again promoted through the Blue Jackets organization to be assistant to head coach Todd Richards for the 2014–15 season. He worked hard in that role and ended up spending seven years as an assistant coach with the Blue Jackets. After Richards was fired, he remained under the coaching staff of John Tortorella.
Prior to the 2021-22 season, Tortorella was fired by the Blue Jackets organization and Larsen was hired to be the new head coach. In nearly two seasons as head coach of Columbus, Larsen compiled a 58-78-14 record as the leader of a rebuilding team.
Pascal Vincent, who will be the Blue Jackets head coach for today’s game, has a long coaching history in the QMJHL, AHL and as an assistant coach in the NHL.