When Brad Larsen went from outdated participant to younger coach and incomes an NHL head job grew to become a aim, he hung out on a hockey database web site wanting up the paths of those that got here earlier than him.
Larsen discovered lots of the most profitable coaches took their time and embraced endurance.
“My vision was, I’m not in a rush to be a head coach,” Larsen mentioned. “I want to do it right.”
After a decade in teaching, together with the previous seven years as a Columbus assistant, Larsen was launched Friday because the Blue Jackets’ new coach. He and workforce brass agreed that even with connections to the earlier two teaching staffs, Larsen earned the chance to be the brand new voice the group covets to turn out to be a contender once more.
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“There’s that patient endurance that goes into something like that,” Larsen mentioned at his introductory information convention in Columbus. “I’m going to learn more now. I’m going to make mistakes — I promise you — but that’s part of the process.”
Larsen shortly grew to become the best choice to succeed John Tortorella, the Stanley Cup-winning coach who parted methods with the Blue Jackets together with his contract expiring. General supervisor Jarmo Kekalainen mentioned Larsen was one of many first candidates interviewed for the job and others could not surpass the “Lars Bar” set by the 43-year-old homegrown coach.
“It makes me very proud to promote Brad to our head coach because he’s earned it,” Kekalainen mentioned. “It’s going to be a fresh, new voice for us.”
A distinction from Torts
At the very least it is a contemporary perspective from a coach who labored below Tortorella and Todd Richards since 2014 and earlier than that coached the membership’s American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts. Larsen understands the questions on how an organizational mainstay is usually a new voice however insists he’ll present that in his teaching.
Whereas Tortorella was gruff, typically brief and generally unfiltered, Larsen mentioned he is agency however truthful and believes in accountability and honesty, very like his outdated boss.
“I’m my own man,” Larsen mentioned. “I probably will handle things differently than Torts just because that’s who I am and not because he was wrong and I was right, but that’s who I am.”
Which is why Kekalainen and returning Blue Jackets President John Davidson picked Larsen over extra skilled coaches, together with Rick Tocchet and Gerard Gallant. After final season went off the rails and Columbus completed in final place, choosing a coach is one other step in an important offseason with the group betting massive on Larsen being the most effective match.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s exciting,” Davidson mentioned. “We’ve now made this choice. We feel it’s a very strong choice. The communication skills from Brad are exceptional, his love of the Blue Jackets and Columbus are way up the ladder. There was a lot of very positive things.”
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Jones on cusp of free company
One unfavourable factor might be a possible commerce of franchise cornerstone defenseman Seth Jones, who’s one 12 months away from being a free agent and has reportedly mentioned he will not re-sign with Columbus. Larsen could not be capable to change Jones’ thoughts however plans to achieve out prior to later.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jonesy — his game, him as a person,” Larsen mentioned. “He checks a lot of the boxes. We’ll see what transpires there.”