Jackets let go of coach who refused vaccine

Recently hired assistant Sylvain Lefebvre's tenure in Columbus lasted exactly zero games after he refused to comply with the NHL's vaccine mandate. (Getty)
Recently hired assistant Sylvain Lefebvre’s tenure in Columbus lasted exactly zero games after he refused to comply with the NHL’s vaccine mandate. (Getty)

Newly hired assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre is opting not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, so the Columbus Blue Jackets are choosing to replace him.

Steve McCarthy is taking over the job after Lefebvre was forced to resign for not complying with the NHL’s vaccine mandate, which states that all players, coaches, trainers, staffers, and front-line employees be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The former NHL defenceman who spent time with the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Nordiques/Avalanche and Rangers — inked a three-year deal to serve as an assistant under recently hired head coach Brad Larsen following John Tortorella’s departure.

“While we are disappointed, we respect that this decision is a personal one for Sylvain and wish him well,” said general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, via TSN. 

“We feel fortunate to have an outstanding coach join our club in Steve McCarthy, who has played in this league, won championships as a player and been an important member of our hockey operations department as an assistant coach in Cleveland.”

NHL camps are slated to open up in just over two weeks. 

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