According to a report from Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman, the Columbus Blue Jackets have scooped up Manitoba Moose head coach Pascal Vincent to fill an assistant coaching role alongside new head coach Brad Larsen.
Hearing AHL Winnipeg head coach Pascal Vincent is joining Brad Larsen’s Columbus staff.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 24, 2021
The franchise’s all-time winningest head coach John Tortorella parted ways with the organization following the 2020-21 season. Long-time assistant Larsen (who spent seven years as an assistant) was named as his successor and the eighth coach in franchise history on June 10.
“Brad understands the standard that has been set here in recent years for how we expect to play on the ice and how we represent our city and fans off the ice,” said Blue Jackets’ President of Hockey Operations John Davidson. “He shares our values and our vision for what it means to be a Blue Jacket and where we want to go as a franchise and is the right person to lead our team moving forward.”
Now able to pick and choose his support staff, Larsen has made it clear that Pascal Vincent is the man for the job. Whether it stems from his past five years in charge of the Manitoba Moose, or his previous five years as an assistant with the Winnipeg Jets, or possibly his connection to Jackets’ forwards Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic, there is clearly a vested interest in getting Vincent from Manitoba to Columbus.
After losing Todd Woodcroft to the University of Vermont following the 2019-20 season, True North is about to see another key coaching figure depart for another organization. Vincent, 49, earned the AHL’s Coach of the Year award following the 2017-18 season, and holds a 155-139-31 record through five seasons at the helm.
With the addition of Dave Lowry for 2020-21, the Jets’ assistants remain in good shape (Charlie Huddy and Jamie Kompon), but the AHL pipeline may experience some difficulties. Eric Dubois may be in line for the soon-to-be open position, if the team opts to use the ‘next man up’ mentality in filling that role.
Alongside Vincent, fellow AHL head coaches Benoit Groulx (Syracuse Crunch) and Kris Knoblauch (Hartford Whalers) have also been long rumoured as potential candidates for the vacant assistant positions in Ohio.