The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Friday that Gary Agnew has joined the club’s coaching staff as an assistant coach following six seasons as head coach of the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.
In addition, associate coach Dean Blais is moving into a player development role within the organization and goaltending coach Rick Wamsley has left the club to join the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach.
Agnew joins head coach Gerard Gallant and assistant coach Gord Murphy on the staff with a new goaltending coach expected to be named in the coming weeks.
Agnew is the fourth AHL head coach to be promoted to the NHL this offseason, following new Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Paul Maurice (Toronto Marlies), new Philadelphia Flyers assistant John Stevens (Philadelphia Phantoms) and new Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault (Manitoba Moose).
Agnew, 45, 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.
"Gary Agnew has done a terrific job with the Syracuse Crunch over the past six years, both from a wins and losses standpoint and in working with the young players in our organization," said Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean. "He is a very bright coach who will be a great addition to our coaching staff."