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Columbus rookie blasts head coach and front office for mismanagement


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Noel Drolet
January 28, 2024  (5:34 PM)
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David Jiricek skating with Columbus
Photo credit: The Hockey News

With the struggles of the Blue Jackets, not many on the team are very happy right now. Newly-appointment head coach Pascal Vincent seems to be making a lot of mistakes, making a lot of rookies and fans very upset. One of these rookies is 2022 6th overall draft pick David Jiricek. David Jiricek recently did an interview with the Athletic, where he tore apart the coaching decisions that have been made for him.

This is crazy to see, as prospects will rarely ever call their coach out this publicly. With the forced severance of Cutter Gauthier recently, it really sounds like players are starting to have more of a say in where they want to play, and are more in control of their contract.
So what does this mean for Columbus? Vincent needs to realize that he needs to play Jiricek more, and give him more opportunities. Teams rarely want to see a prospect like this walk, as it can set back a rebuild considerably. Columbus is going to have to play him more, and that will most likely result in less time for other players. This forces a big log jam in Columbus with Werenski back, and they might end up resulting in them trying to offload a player.
This could be very beneficial for the Oilers, as they've already been linked with Columbus in trade talks for Adam Boqvist. Boqvist is a right defenceman just like Jiricek, and so the resulting play of Jiricek could push Boqvist out when he's healthy again. He also only carries a $2.6M cap hit, so he would easily be within budget for the Oilers. Boqvist would fit perfectly in the second pairing, and would allow Ceci or Desharnais to play as injury assurance. If Columbus wants to keep Jiricek, this could end up being very beneficial for Edmonton too.
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Columbus rookie blasts head coach and front office for mismanagement

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