A day before they kick off their 2023-24 schedule, the Columbus Blue Jackets have filled the assistant coaching vacancy on their bench. The team hired Josef Boumedienne today to fill the role vacated by Pascal Vincent’s sudden recent promotion to head coach, per a team announcement.
It’s a nice promotion for the former NHL defenseman, who has been a member of the Blue Jackets since retiring from his playing career a decade ago. First joining the squad as a European scout for the 2013-14 season, he was promoted to the team’s Director of European Scouting three years later. He jumped up the ladder again in 2021 to serve as their Director of Professional Scouting, and now, two seasons later, he’ll be behind an NHL bench for the first time.
This is not Boumedienne’s first coaching experience, although his previous résumé in coaching roles is limited. He briefly served as the head coach for SHL club Brynäs IF for the league’s play-out round in 2021, and he held a coaching role within the Blue Jackets’ youth program last season. Now 45, Boumedienne skated in 47 NHL contests between 2001 and 2004 with the Capitals, Devils and Lightning.
Some other coaching news out of Columbus today:
- Columbus also announced one-year extensions for their other assistants, starting with longtime Blue Jackets enforcer Jared Boll. The 37-year-old has been a member of the Blue Jackets coaching staff since 2018. He initially started as an assistant development coach before transitioning into the role of an assistant coach for this season. Between playing in Columbus and shortly in Anaheim, Boll accumulated 28 goals, 38 assists, and 66 points, along with 1,298 penalty minutes, over the course of 579 games played during his 11-year tenure in the NHL.
- Steve McCarthy, also once an NHLer, received a one-year extension to match Boll. The 42-year-old has been in the Columbus organization since 2016 when he was brought on as an assistant coach for the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters. He was promoted to the NHL bench in 2021. The 42-year-old was once a first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks and skated in over 300 NHL games across eight seasons.