Brad Larsen Hired as Blue Jackets' New Head Coach; Replaces John Tortorella

Adam WellsJune 10, 2021

RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 10: Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach Brad Larsen walks off the ice after a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC on October 10, 2017. Columbus defeated Carolina 2 - 1 in overtime. (Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets have promoted Brad Larsen to head coach after he spent the past seven seasons as an assistant. 

Columbus announced on Thursday that Larsen has signed a three-year contract to replace John Tortorella as the franchise's next head coach.

John Davidson, Blue Jackets president of hockey operations, issued a statement in the hiring announcement about Larsen's credentials:

"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. 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."

The Blue Jackets announced on May 9 a mutual parting of ways with Tortorella, whose contract expired at the end of the 2020-21 season. He went 227-166-54 in 447 games with the organization over the past six years. 

This season was a disappointment for the Blue Jackets. Their 48 points were tied with the Detroit Red Wings for fewest in the Central Division, and they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015-16. 

Larsen has been an assistant in Columbus since the 2014-15 season under previous head coach Todd Richards. He remained on staff after Tortorella took over in October 2015. 

The Blue Jackets will mark Larsen's first head-coaching gig in the NHL. The 44-year-old did spend two seasons as head coach of the Springfield Falcons in the American Hockey League from 2012-14.

Larsen led Springfield to a 95-45-11 record and back-to-back division titles.