The Columbus Blue Jackets underwent a challenging 2023-24 season. Columbus went 27-43-12 and accumulated just 66 points, which ranked them last in the Metropolitan Division. Thus, the Blue Jackets have made a decisive move on first-year head coach Pascal Vincent. Columbus has parted ways with Vincent, the team announced Monday, per The Score.

The Blue Jackets named Vincent their head coach before the 2023-24 season after Mike Babcock retired. Vincent previously served as an associate coach for the club for two seasons. Blue Jackets general manager Don Waddell released a statement amid the organization's big decision.

“As I spent time with Pascal over the past few weeks, I found him to be an outstanding person and smart hockey coach who worked very hard last year under trying circumstances, but I believe a change behind the bench is in our team's best interest,” Waddell said. “On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Pascal for his work ethic, professionalism, and contributions during his three seasons with the Blue Jackets.”

Waddell became the Blue Jackets' GM and president of hockey operations in May of 2024. Now, he and the rest of the team's leadership will search for their next bench leader. Vincent is the 11th head coach to be fired during the 2023-24 NHL season, The Score noted.

Four key statistics captured the Blue Jacket's Metropolitan Division slump. They ranked 27th in goals and 31st in goals against. In addition, Columbus had the second-worst power play and a bottom-10 penalty kill.

Pascal Vincent admirably helped the Blue Jackets work through challenges, and the next coach looks to build upon Vincent's efforts and help elevate the team.

Don Waddell has high expectations for the Blue Jackets 

When Waddell arrived on the scene, he outlined his high expectations for Columbus.

“With the players that are currently on the roster, and knowing how this organization runs and everybody that's been here … there's no excuse from an ownership standpoint,” said Waddell, via “They give you all the tools, all the resources to make it work.”

“The great thing is, there's a lot of a lot of smart hockey people in this organization and we’re going to count on everybody to be part of these discussions and as we make decisions as a group,” the new Blue Jackets general manager added. “We'll get this figured out and make everybody here in Columbus proud of the Blue Jackets.”

Furthermore, Waddell expressed that he was not afraid to make moves to help Columbus sustain success.

“As the general manager, I have to listen to all options. So, you listen to all the dialogue. Teams have asked me already, ‘Is your (fourth) pick in play?’ And I’ve said, ‘For the right price, everything is in play,'” Waddell said in early June, per Brian Ledger of the Columbus Dispatch.

Waddell proved his decisiveness as a GM by helping spark a change in coaching leadership. Waddell and the Blue Jackets remain confident they can turn the team around after a subpar season. It will be interesting to see who becomes the next head coach in Columbus following Vincent Pascal's departure.