On Monday morning, the Blue Jackets announced that Steve McCarthy will be joining their staff as an assistant coach, replacing Sylvain Lefebvre. Lefebvre chose not to comply with the NHL's COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
"While we are disappointed, we respect that this decision is a personal one for Sylvain and wish him well," said club General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen in a press release. "We feel fortunate to have an outstanding coach join our club in Steve McCarthy, who has played in this league, won championships as a player and been an important member of our hockey operations department as an assistant coach in Cleveland."
McCarthy has been an assistant coach with AHL Cleveland for the last five seasons. In his playing days, he logged 16 professional seasons. Eight came in the NHL with Chicago, Vancouver, and Atlanta. In his last season as a player, he notched 17 games with the Lake Erie Monsters (now Cleveland) as they hoisted the Calder Cup.
"Steve has done a great job working with our young defensemen in Cleveland the past five years and is ready for this opportunity," said head coach Brad Larsen. "He is a really bright, young coach with a great work ethic and I'm excited about what he will bring to our staff."