The Columbus Blue Jackets have named three-time Stanley Cup champion and former AHL All-Star John Madden as head coach of the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters.
Madden replaces Jared Bednar, who last week was hired as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche.
“John Madden has a winning pedigree, having been a part of three Stanley Cup championships and a collegiate national championship as a player and being a part of the coaching staff that helped the Florida Panthers become one of the NHL’s most improved clubs over the past three seasons,” said Blue Jackets assistant general manager Bill Zito. “He is a smart, energetic young coach who we believe to be the best person to lead our prospects in Cleveland.”
Madden, 43, joins the organization after serving the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Panthers. During his stint in Florida, he helped the club win an Atlantic Division title in 2015-16 after posting franchise bests in wins and points with a 47-26-9 record (103 points).
“I am really excited and would like to thank the Blue Jackets organization for the opportunity to serve as head coach of the defending Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters,” said Madden. “I am looking forward to working with Toby Petersen, Steve McCarthy, Manny Legace and the staff in Cleveland to continue to develop the young players in this organization in an environment that demands excellence on and off the ice.”
The Toronto native completed a 13-year NHL playing career in 2011-12, helping the Panthers capture a Southeast Division championship. The center registered 165 goals and 183 assists for 348 points in 898 regular-season games with Florida, Minnesota, Chicago and New Jersey, winning Stanley Cups with the Devils in 2000 and 2003 and the Blackhawks in 2010. Madden won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward in 2000-01.
Madden spent two seasons (1997-99) in the AHL with the Albany River Rats, totaling 58 goals and 96 assists for 154 points in 149 games. He played in the AHL All-Star Classic in 1999 and finished third in the AHL in scoring that season (38-60-98).
Before turning pro, Madden played four seasons at the University of Michigan, winning a national championship in 1996.