Blue Jackets extend coach Richards again


The Sports Network

Columbus, OH ( - On the heels of the franchise's second playoff berth, the Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to a two-year contract extension with coach Todd Richards on Tuesday.

Richards led the Blue Jackets to a franchise-best 43-32-7 record this past season, good for fourth place in the Metropolitan Division and a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Columbus lost in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Todd has done an outstanding job for the Columbus Blue Jackets and we're pleased that he will continue to lead our team," said Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. "We believe he is one of the top young coaches in the NHL because of his knowledge of the game, work ethic and ability to communicate well and bring out the best in our players. He's played a significant role in our recent success and we look forward to having him continue to be a big part of our franchise moving forward."

The 47-year-old Richards has recorded an 85-70-16 mark in 171 regular-season games in Columbus since taking over for Scott Arniel as an interim coach in January 2012. Following the 2011-12 season, the Blue Jackets made Richards the sixth full-time coach in team history. For his efforts, the Minnesota native earned a one-year extension last June.

"I'm very excited to be a part of this club and I appreciate the support I've received from the McConnell family, Mike Priest, John Davidson, Jarmo Kekalainen and everyone at the Blue Jackets organization," said Richards.

"Our management group has done a fantastic job assembling a competitive team and we've definitely taken some very positive steps over the past two seasons. I'm looking forward to continuing to help this club grow and achieve its ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup championship."

Richards was the second coach in Minnesota Wild history before taking over in Columbus. He compiled a 77-71-16 record in two seasons from 2009-2011.

He also coached the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to the 2008 Calder Cup finals.

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