The Columbus Blue Jackets named Gary Agnew their interim head coach at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
Agnew replaces Gerard Gallant, who was relieved of his duties on Monday, and becomes the 19th current NHL head coach to have previously been a bench boss in the American Hockey League. He will make his debut behind the bench on Wednesday when the Blue Jackets host the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena.
"A lot of hockey remains to be played this season," said Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean in making the announcement. "Despite our disappointing start, we remain committed to building a team that will be successful on the ice. Gary is an excellent coach who knows our players well and we’re confident he’ll do an outstanding job."
Agnew, 46, was promoted to Columbus as an assistant coach on July 7, 2006, after six seasons as head coach of the Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. He guided the Crunch to their first-ever division and regular-season conference championships in 2001-02 and set numerous franchise marks during the 2005-06 season, including wins (47) and points (102), with a record of 47-25-5-3.
In 480 career games as head coach of the Crunch, Agnew had a record of 220-210-50.
Agnew becomes the second AHL graduate to be promoted to an NHL head coaching position this season, following Philadelphia’s John Stevens.
|Coach||Current NHL Team||AHL Teams Coached|
|Bob Hartley||Atlanta||Cornwall, Hershey|
|Jim Playfair||Calgary||Saint John|
|Marc Crawford||Los Angeles||St. John’s|
|Barry Trotz||Nashville||Baltimore, Portland|
|Claude Julien||New Jersey||Hamilton|
|Michel Therrien||Pittsburgh||Fredericton, Quebec, W-B/Scranton|
|John Tortorella||Tampa Bay||Rochester|