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Blue Jackets head coach: Bob Hartley and Claude Julien could be candidates
Credit: Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images
Yesterday evening, the Blue Jackets made their decision: they would not be bringing head coach Pascal Vincent back behind the bench. The decision may have seemed odd, given that the Quebecer was thrown into the deep end at the start of the season, and only piloted one campaign.

Columbus didn’t have the season it had hoped for, however, and Vincent made a number of controversial decisions during the year, including leaving out some young players.

As a result, new GM Don Waddell is looking for a new head coach, and he may well turn to another Francophone. This time, the targets are not Quebecers, but Franco-Ontarians. Elliotte Friedman on TJSM wondered if Bob Hartley and/or Claude Julien might be interesting candidates.

Columbus won’t want to hire a coach with no NHL experience, which is why Hartley and Julien could be interesting candidates.

Both Canadians have enjoyed good times in the big league and have the experience to lead a team in the midst of change to the promised land. In Hartley’s case, the connection is more logical.

From 2002-2003 to 2007-2008, the Hawkesbury native was head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers. And who was the GM? That’s right, Don Waddell, the current head of Columbus. I don’t know how good the relationship between the two men is, but in four full seasons at the helm of the Georgia outfit, Hartley made the playoffs just once, losing in the first round.

If he is hired, he will certainly want more success under Waddell.

In Claude Julien’s case, he was head coach of the Habs from 2002-2003 to 2005-2006 and from 2016-2017 to 2020-2021. He also coached the Devils for 79 games and the Bruins for a decade. With Boston, he won a Stanley Cup.

Both are strong candidates, but they won’t be alone in the race.


– Barclay Goodrow is on waivers.

– I get it.

– Quite a player!

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