by professor ggrib
Tis the season. I mean it’s after the season, so coaches are fair game. In the Blue Jackets case, coach Todd Richards will be without a contract. So do you keep him or go a wondering in the available coaches flotsam. Should the Blue Jackets hire a big name coach? Wait… is Richards a big name coach? Do we have a big name coach already?
After taking the Blue Jackets to 2 over performing seasons in a row including this year which was the best season in the franchise history, does that make him a big name coach? Does being named to the Olympic coaching staff make him a big name coach [or was that a friendship thing with the head coach] You can argue the friendship thing if you want, but there was not big outcry that he should not have been named.
Let’s use another term, established coach, Todd Richards is now at minimum an established coach. I can think of no reason to throw him out in favor of another coach. He has shown he can make the Blue Jackets a contender. But there is one other point….. Can he take the Blue Jackets to the next level. Aha ha. I think we’ve hit on the crux of the situation.
Other coaches have won more playoff games and/or Stanly Cups. So are we satisfied with a newbie at the helm for the next years? I think Tod Richards has learned a lot in the past 3 years.  he was not successful in Minnesota as a head coach, but there may be a bit more to that story than statistics. – If you learn by your mistakes, you will grow. He shows evidence of having done that.  He rubbed elbows with elite coaches at the Olympic games. He had to scout and analyze other teams as well as his own team. He had his friend and very experienced coach guiding him. And he was able to observe from a catbird’s seat another “name” coach operate.  He was in a very difficult/hard fought opening round playoff series—and pretty much held his own.
I think he stays and succeeds. Would I be surprised if he was dismissed? Yes, but not astounded. Current management might want a man of their own choosing. But I still think he stays with another 2 year contract.
BTW….. Springfield Coach Brad Larson is one of the AHL’s rising young coaches. He has gone to the playoffs both years he has coached. But in both years has bowed out in the first round. Most bets are he will coach in the NHL, but has some growing to do. Is he a candidate for an assistant NHL coach [perhaps even at Columbus]? Yes!! He has done an excellent job in providing players who play in the “Blue Jacket mold” when called up. He is a valuable asset.