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Navigating the Blue Jackets’ Head Teaching Rumors – The Hockey Writers – Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets appeared near prepared to call their new head coach. Because of some studies which have surfaced, maybe a choice is additional than we predict.

On Wednesday, in keeping with Aaron Portzline of the Athletic first after which later confirmed by Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch, Todd McLellan, who was regarded as the front-runner for the Blue Jackets’ head teaching job, is out of the operating. Though each mentioned that the crew may circle again to McLellan ultimately, it seems the search will transfer on to different candidates.

In each studies, contract talks have been cited as a motive an settlement couldn’t be reached. GM Don Waddell mentioned final week that he was down to a few candidates and would have a choice made within the subsequent 7-10 days. Whereas that timeframe has not expired but, that seems to be in severe doubt primarily based on these studies.

How Did We Get Right here?

In case you haven’t intently adopted the proceedings, let’s do a fast reset. Waddell finally dismissed head coach Pascal Vincent a pair weeks after turning into the brand new President of Hockey Operations and GM of the Blue Jackets. He mentioned {that a} change was wanted.

Waddell then mentioned on the document that he wished a coach with NHL expertise. After going by means of his checklist of candidates, he acquired his last checklist down to a few. The idea after confirming with a number of sources across the league was that checklist comprised of McLellan, Dean Evason and Jay Woodcroft.

Initially, it was John Buccigross of ESPN that posted to observe for McLellan because the Blue Jackets’ subsequent head coach. That apparently was earlier than Waddell even performed any interviews. However then as a supply texted me quickly after that publish, McLellan “was at or close to the highest of their checklist.”

Todd McLellan appeared near turning into the Blue Jackets’ head coach. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It was clear McLellan was a reputation to observe on this course of. However then as time began to go on with no formal announcement, it began to boost questions. Was there some kind of maintain up?

Now right here we’re at this time with these rumors of McLellan now being out of the race. Because it seems, all three believed candidates have been fired from their final job and every have one season left on that contract.

What does this imply? It means there’s an additional set of negotiations that need to happen with the earlier crew. That crew and the Blue Jackets would want to work out how a lot every crew would pay on that final yr. Then the Blue Jackets would proceed to the phrases of the brand new contract.

Regardless of the maintain up was, the edges couldn’t conform to phrases. As of this writing, we have no idea the precise reasoning for the stalled talks. Nonetheless, seeing the studies counsel the Blue Jackets might circle again factors to a problem with time period or {dollars}. Maybe it’s each. The crew may make one other provide to McLellan in the event that they so select.

Many Unanswered Questions

Seeing these studies actually leaves lots of unanswered questions. However maybe on the prime of the checklist is that this. If McLellan was the man Waddell wished, what prevented the deal from getting executed?

We talked about time period and {dollars} above. Do the edges see the size of the contract the identical? Maybe the Blue Jackets desire a shorter deal and McLellan desires extra time period. It’s additionally attainable the 2 sides see the annual compensation in another way.

Possession would finally give the ultimate approval on a possible deal when it comes to cash. They’re already paying Pascal Vincent and it’s nonetheless attainable they’re paying Mike Babcock too. One other query is have they positioned any limits on what will be given to a brand new coach?

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Then there’s the entire what’s subsequent a part of this? The studies do counsel the door will not be utterly closed on McLellan. Will they circle again? In terms of expertise, McLellan has a sizeable benefit on each Evason and Woodcroft. That have can be fascinating on the Blue Jackets given the place they’re at.

If the Blue Jackets do transfer on to different candidates, do they now contemplate somebody not initially a finalist? As you’ll be able to see, there are various extra questions than solutions at this level. The longer this course of goes, the extra questions that should be requested.

The Blue Jackets stay the one crew within the NHL to not have a head coach. Whereas there isn’t a set date per se that one needs to be named, there’s some urgency in realizing who it will likely be sooner for the needs of planning for the upcoming season. The crew additionally has different enterprise to maintain too. They’ve contracts that should be labored out. Additionally they have work to do on Patrik Laine.

Closing Ideas

Regardless of these studies dropping indicating a attainable setback, this teaching search may nonetheless finish at any given second. They both agree with one other candidate or regulate their provide on McLellan for him to simply accept.

It’s cheap to count on this course of shouldn’t take for much longer given what Waddell has mentioned. But it surely’s additionally cheap to surprise why this isn’t executed but both.

What can be attention-grabbing to see is what the brand new coach agreed to. It may point out a distinction in opinion between how the Blue Jackets view themselves and the way a possible coach does.

Keep tuned on this ever creating story. We may very well be reaching its conclusion quickly. Perhaps.

Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown specializes in soccer, covering MLS, NWSL, and international competitions. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Sports Media. Olivia has written for and ESPN FC, providing thorough coverage and in-depth analysis of the sport.


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