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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

McLellan out of Blue Jackets coaching search

By meerna Jul11,2024
McLellan out of Blue Jackets coaching search

So much for Todd McLellan as the new Blue Jackets coach.

Sources told the Dispatch that McLellan, 56, is out of the game after salary negotiations between the longtime NHL coach and the team broke down. The Los Angeles Kings, who fired McLellan a year before his $5.5 million contract expired, are now obligated to pay him his final year of salary unless he finds a new coaching job, which most believed would be in Columbus.

According to sources, talks on a multi-year deal with the Blue Jackets continued, but an agreement that would make McLellan the 11th overall pick could not be reached.t full-time coach in franchise history. A source told the Dispatch on Wednesday that McLellan was excited to come to Columbus, was not asking for $5.5 million per season and the Kings were not an obstacle for him.

The Dispatch sent a text message to Blue Jackets general manager Don Waddell on Tuesday saying McLellan was no longer being considered, but has not received a response.

That doesn’t mean the Blue Jackets won’t try again with a higher offer, but he’s not currently under consideration. A source told the Dispatch that former Edmonton Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft, one of McLellan’s former assistants, is still under consideration. Former Minnesota Wild coach Dean Evason has also been linked to the Blue Jackets as a potential finalist.

More Columbus Blue Jackets news: Jeff Blashill Not a Finalist for Columbus Blue Jackets Coaching Job

The Dispatch learned Tuesday that Tampa Bay Lightning assistant Jeff Blashill, who has ties to Blue Jackets general manager Don Waddell, is not involved.

Waddell, who took over as the Jackets’ new president of hockey operations/general manager in late May, made the decision to fire former coach Pascal Vincent on June 17. Vincent had one year remaining on the contract he signed last September after former coach Mike Babcock was forced to resign amid allegations that he violated players’ privacy during summer one-on-ones.

Related Blue Jackets article: Columbus Blue Jackets Notebook: Coach Search, RFAs, Prospect Updates

After firing Vincent, Waddell said NHL head coaching experience would play a big role in hiring the Blue Jackets’ next bench boss. McLellan has plenty of it, having played 1,144 games for three different teams, including experience rebuilding teams in Edmonton and L.A. The Dispatch also learned earlier this week that Joel Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks, is not being considered for the job.

Quenneville recently received permission from Commissioner Gary Bettman to seek NHL positions after resigning as head coach of the Florida Panthers in 2021 amid allegations that sexual harassment by former player Kyle Beach was ignored during his time with the Blackhawks.

Woodcroft and Evason both have prior NHL head coaching experience, but not much of it. In Woodcroft’s case, his head coaching experience with the Oilers isn’t much greater than Larsen’s or Vincent’s time in Columbus. Other names available who have significant NHL experience include Gerard Gallant, Bruce Boudreau and Bob Hartley.

Gallant’s first NHL head coaching experience was with the Blue Jackets, and the 60-year-old coach recently hinted at a return. Boudreau, 69, currently works as a studio analyst for the NHL Network and last coached with the Vancouver Canucks in 2023. Hartley, 63, hasn’t coached in the NHL since 2016 with the Calgary Flames, but coached for Waddell for five years with the Atlanta Thrashers, who have since become the Winnipeg Jets.

Waddell had hoped the search would be conducted this week, but at the time it looked like McLellan would be the pick. It’s unclear what cutting McLellan will do to the Jackets’ recruiting timeline.

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@BrianHedger

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By meerna

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