The Columbus Blue Jackets have added another experienced hand to the coaching staff, hiring Paul MacLean as an assistant for the rest of the season. MacLean will join head coach John Tortorella’s staff to help out the Blue Jackets’ special teams specifically. GM Jarmo Kekalainen released a statement on the hiring:
I’ve always said that we look at every opportunity to make our team better and adding a veteran coach with a winning pedigree like Paul MacLean to a staff that has led us to three-straight appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs does just that.
This isn’t the first time Kekalainen has added a coach during the season. In January of this year the team hired Martin St. Louis as a powerplay consultant, hoping to spark the Blue Jackets with the man advantage and add an extra set of eyes as they tried to compete in the Metropolitan Division. Bringing in MacLean is a similar move, even if he does come with quite a bit more experience.
A Jack Adams Award winner in 2013 with the Ottawa Senators, MacLean also won the Stanley Cup as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008. He has spent more than a decade behind NHL benches, though his last coaching position came in 2016-17.
The Blue Jackets, who are currently 8-8-4 on the season, lag far behind league average in both the powerplay (where they rank 24th) and penalty kill (22nd).