Cleveland Monsters Associate Coach and former NHL defenseman Steve McCarthy has been announced as the newest assistant on the Columbus Blue Jackets coaching staff under head coach Brad Larsen.
The Blue Jackets announced Monday that McCarthy will replace assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre, who has declined to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and can no longer fulfill his coaching duties in light of league safety protocols.
"While we are disappointed, we respect that this decision is a personal one for Sylvain and wish him well," said Blue Jackets' General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen, in an official statement. "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."
The 40-year-old McCarthy has been with the Monsters for five seasons as a coach, and played briefly for the Monsters as a player after suiting up for the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Thrashers in the NHL.
The Monsters will open their 2021-2022 season against Syracuse on Oct. 15. The Blue Jackets, who finished at the bottom of the NHL's Central division last season, will open this year's campaign on Oct. 14 against the Arizona Coyotes.
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