Larsen named coach of Blue Jackets

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Brad Larsen was named coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

Larsen, who turns 44 June 28, replaces John Tortorella after the Blue Jackets announced May 9 that he would not return after six seasons. Larsen was an assistant under Tortorella and Todd Richards for seven seasons and coached Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts, from 2012-14.

“I’ve been extremely proud to be a Columbus Blue Jacket and be part of this wonderful community for the past seven years, and I am humbled and honored to be the head coach of this hockey club,” Larsen said.

Larsen played eight seasons in the NHL and scored 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) in 294 games as a forward for the Colorado Avalanche and Atlanta Thrashers.

Video: The Columbus Blue Jackets announce new coach

Columbus (18-26-12) was tied with the Detroit Red Wings for seventh in the eight-team Discover Central Division. It was the first time the Blue Jackets missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2015-16, Tortorella’s first season with the team. Tortorella was 227-166-54 in the regular season and 13-18 in the playoffs in six seasons coaching Columbus.

“We underwent an exhaustive process in which we looked very closely at a number of outstanding candidates to be the next coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the one individual we kept coming back to throughout was Brad Larsen,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “Brad was one of the top young coaches in the American Hockey League when he joined our club as an assistant coach and over the past seven years has earned the respect of our players, staff and organization with his work ethic, hockey acumen and the way he treats people, and we couldn’t be more pleased to introduce him as our next head coach.”

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