Vernon’s Brad Larsen has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the National Hockey League.
The team’s general manager, Jarmo Kekalainen, announced the firing Saturday, April 15.
Larsen spent two seasons as the Blue Jackets’ bench boss, signing a three-year contract through the 2023-24 season in June 2021 to become the eighth head coach in the team’s history.
Before becoming head coach, Larsen spent the previous seven seasons as an assistant Blue Jackets coach under head coaches Todd Richards and John Tortorella.
The team also announced Saturday that the contract of goaltending coach Manny Legace will not be renewed.
The Blue Jackets finished near the bottom of the league standings this season.
“This season has been extremely disappointing and the responsibility for that lies with all of us,” said Kekalainen. “These decisions were difficult and not made lightly given our respect for both Brad and Manny as coaches and people. Brad has been part of our organization for more than a decade, and we are extremely thankful for his hard work and many contributions — both on and off the ice — during that time. We wish nothing but the best for Brad and his family in the future.”
The 45-year-old Larsen led the Blue Jackets to a 62-86-16 record in 164 games (.427 points percentage). That included a 25-48-9 record in an injury-plagued 2022-23 season, good for second last in league standings.
Prior to his arrival in Columbus, Larsen was the head coach of the Springfield Falcons, the Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate, from 2012 to 2014. He led the Falcons to two Northeast Division titles. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Falcons in 2010-11 and 2011-12.