5 Pressing tasks for Don Waddell as he takes over the Columbus Blue Jackets

Don Waddell was hired as president, GM and alternate governor of the Blue Jackets this week. He has a lot get done, with only about three months to do it.
2019 NHL Awards - Nominee Media Availability
2019 NHL Awards - Nominee Media Availability / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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3. What to do with the coaching staff?

I touched on the incohesiveness of this team on the last page. It's the elephant in the room.

The Blue Jackets have a talented roster. In fact, I think there are a lot of teams in the league who would love to have this much talent on their hands. The problem here is, they just haven't found a formula for success.

A lot of that falls right onto the shoulders of the coaching staff.

I'm not just talking about Pascal Vincent here. He's only part of the coaching staff, and he was thrown into his role as bench boss just days before training camp started. So, it's unfair to blame this team's downfall fully on him.

He was somewhat given a vote of confidence by Waddell, who seems to be taking the "feel it out" approach here. Which makes sense.

Pascal Vincent
Minnesota Wild v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

But, it's still a decision that has to be made. Does he hang onto Vincent and give him a chance to run it back, with a full summer of planning? It would give him time to evaluate the roster further, without the pressure of "new coach, win now".

More to the point here, I think something has to change about this team's defensive zone play. That falls on assistant coach Steve McCarthy.

Like Vincent, Waddell mentioned McCarthy in his introductory presser. The two know each other because McCarthy played for Waddell's Atlanta Thrashers. So, maybe there's enough familiarity there to save Steve's job for now.

With that said, it has to be made clear right away, whether it's with this coaching staff or not: giving up 300+ goals against for the fourth consecutive year, cannot happen. This team will have another lottery pick next summer, if it does.

You know what, I'm just going to say it: the commonality in the three previous seasons? Steve McCarthy was hired to run the defense. That's been the problem, from an outsider's perspective. The scheme is wrong.

Let's go onto another task that might help with this team's goals against average.