Head coach Mike Babcock won’t have even had time to coach a single game for the Columbus Blue Jackets, not even in the prep schedule.
The Ohio organization announced on Sunday that the latter had resigned and that Quebecer Pascal Vincent would take his place.
“It was a difficult decision for everyone, but it was necessary to keep our focus on the players and the team for next season,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said via a press release on Sunday.
“Upon reflection, it became clear that continuing as head coach of the Blue Jackets was going to be too much of a distraction,” Babcock added. Although I am disappointed that I will not be able to continue the work that has been started, I know that it is best for the organization and for me to step down from my role. I wish everyone in the organization the best for the upcoming campaign. »
Remember that last Tuesday he revealed it on the podcast. spitting gumlets that Babcock delved into the private lives of his players.
According to the coach, the story told by Paul Bissonnette in the podcast is false.
“When I met with our players and staff, I asked them to show me photos of their families on their phones so I could get to know them. There was no other objective behind this initiative,” the pilot said on Friday.
Finally a chance for Pascal Vincent
This unfortunate situation will give 52-year-old Pascal Vincent the opportunity to manage a National Hockey League team for the first time in his career.
“Pascal is an exceptional coach,” said Kekalainen. He knows our players and the organization and is respected by everyone. He was a strong candidate for the head coaching position several months ago and he is in the best position to help us get through all of this as our training camp begins. »
“It’s a tough day, but I’m looking forward to having this great opportunity available,” Vincent said. We have a good group of guys who have worked hard to prepare for next season. My focus will be on working with our staff to prepare everyone for an exciting season. »
Vincent has been an associate coach of the Blue Jackets since 2021. He was previously the head coach of the Manitoba Moose in the American Hockey League, where he remained for five seasons.