|Brad Larsen at 2013-14 Training Camp|
First and foremost, let me say that Dan Hinote was always a positive asset to this organization. Hinote left, citing private, family reasons, for his departure. I wish him well in all aspects of his family and personal life, as well as his professional life. But with the news that Craig Hartsburg was getting extended along with Head Coach Todd Richards (HCTR), it was clear that there would be little mobility within the Blue Jackets organization. Hinote is at a point in his coaching career where he needs head coaching experience. Ideally, the organization could have swapped Hinote and Larsen to give him that chance, but that has the unavoidable appearance of a demotion. It was time for Hinote to step away, and he will re-enter the game in another organization with more opportunity for head coaching spots in their system. Personally, I'd recommend Vancouver, because they just asked the Rangers for permission to talk to Scott Arniel, and we all know how that's going to end up. So there are likely to be head coaching opportunities in the future in that organization. Just sayin'. I wish you well, Dan Hinote, in all things personal and professional. You served our organization well. Best of luck.
With that out of the way, I really like this addition to our coaching staff. Keith Acton filled a very large role in the coaching staff in the abbreviated 2012-13 season. Following the near play-off position of that year, Acton left to take a promotion in the Flames organization. Hinote appeared to fill in well, based on the results, but his resume is totally unlike Acton's. Brad Larsen fills that gap a little more solidly, having coached the Falcons into the playoffs in the last two years. In 2012-13, with the lockout pushing NHL talent down to the AHL, Larsen proved he could use that talent. In 2013-14, he had none of that talent to use, but made the playoffs anyway. That was a hell of a coaching job. Players coming up from the AHL routinely fit seamlessly with the parent club, and contributed significantly in the injury riddled early days of the 2013-14 season. They were ready to play. And Larsen is responsible for that.
So I think this move adds great depth to the coaching staff. I like this move a lot. I think it bodes well for the 2014-15 season.
So I'm liking me some Larsen.