Blue Jackets Part Ways With Assistant Coach Paul MacLean After One Season

By Colin Hass-Hill on September 3, 2020 at 11:54 am
Paul MacLean
Marc DesRosiers-USA Today Sports

Paul MacLean's stint in Columbus lasted one year.

Brought aboard a one-year contract by coach John Tortorella as an assistant coach in November 2019, MacLean was told the Blue Jackets are not renewing his deal, per The Athletic's Aaron Portzline.

Portzline reported that Tortorella and assistant coaches Manny Legace, Brad Shaw and Brad Larsen are expected to return, though he noted that the loss of MacLean “could be casualty No. 1 for the Blue Jackets, and the first of many across the NHL brought on by the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

MacLean, a long-time NHL coach, was originally hired to improve the Blue Jackets' special-teams units. Added to the staff in the middle of the season, he helped Columbus ever-so-slightly better its power-play numbers, though the team remained inconsistent with an advantage on the ice. The Blue Jackets ranked 27th in the NHL by scoring on 16.4 percent of their power-play opportunities during the regular season, and they only scored on 3-of-34 power plays in the playoffs.

Moving forward, Portzline reported, Larsen is expected to lead the power-play unit.

By not re-upping with MacLean, Columbus loses a 62-year-old with NHL head coaching experience who's been around professional hockey for decades. A former NHL player in the 1980s, he served as the Ottawa Senators' head coach from 2011 to 2014, winning the Jack Adams Award in 2013. 

Now, he'll be looking for work outside of Columbus.

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