Blue Jackets Fire Coach Todd Richards; John Tortorella Hired To Take Over

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UPDATE (4 p.m. ET): The Columbus Blue Jackets confirmed Wednesday they had fired coach Todd Richards and hired John Tortorella as his replacement.

?After much deliberation and discussion, we have made the very difficult decision late last night to remove Todd Richards as our head coach and we?ve reached an agreement with John Tortorella to join the Columbus Blue Jackets in that capacity,? Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement.

?None of us saw our season unfolding the way it has, and every one of us — from management to coaches to players — bears responsibility. There is still a lot of hockey to be played, and we believe this change was necessary to give our team the best chance to accomplish the goals we?ve set for this season.?

ORIGINAL STORY: The Columbus Blue Jackets are shaking things up in a big way.

The Blue Jackets reportedly fired head coach Todd Richards on Wednesday after a horrific start to the season. They’ll replace him with veteran head coach John Tortorella, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported.

The Blue Jackets became the first NHL team since the 1997-98 Chicago Blackhawks to start the season 0-7-0 on Tuesday night after a 4-0 home loss to the New York Islanders. Columbus now has been outscored 34-13 this season, struggling in just about every facet of the game.

Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky commented on Richards’ job security following Tuesday night’s loss.

“It’s not just him,” Dubinsky told reporters, per the Columbus Dispatch. “There’s 23 guys in here. He’s working his (butt) off. He’s trying to change things, make us a better team. For the majority of seven games, we haven’t gone out and executed. It’s unfair on our part to play in front of him that way.

“He cares a lot about winning. He cares deeply about this organization, the city, the fans, the team, the players. … I feel like we’re letting him down, and it’s unfortunate. It’s a really (crappy) feeling.”

Columbus will be Tortorella’s fourth NHL stop. He most recently coached the Vancouver Canucks for the 2013-14 season, going 36-35-11 and missing the playoffs. He was fired after the season.

As reporters have pointed out, NHL rules call for the Blue Jackets to send the Canucks draft pick compensation for hiring Tortorella.

Thumbnail photo via Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports Images

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