Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards completed his staff on Wednesday by naming Keith Acton and Craig Hartsburg as the newest Blue Jackets assistant coaches.
Both men come to the team with previous experience behind the bench. Under coaches such as Paul Gauthier, John Tortorella, Paul Maurice and Wayne Cashman, Acton spent ten years as assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2001-11, with the New York Rangers from 1998-2000 and with the Philadelphia Flyers from 1994-98. A former center drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1978, Acton played for the Flyers, Minnesota North Stars, Washington Capitals and New York Islanders, and he was part of the Edmonton Oilers team that won the Stanley Cup in 1988.
Hartsburg brings two decades of coaching experience to Columbus. He was most recently an assistant coach for the Calgary Flames, but he has head coaching experience as well: with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1995-98, the Anaheim Ducks from 1998-2001 and the Ottawa Senators in 2008-09. He was also an assistant coach for the Minnesota North Stars and twice for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was also head coach in the junior leagues for the Western Hockey League‘s Everett Silvertips and Ontario Hockey League‘s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Guelph Storm. He was also Team Canada’s head coach for their gold-medal performances in the 2007 and 2008 World Junior Championships. Drafted as a defenseman by the Minnesota North Stars in 1979, he played with them for 10 years and was with the team when they made it to the 1981 Stanley Cup Finals.
The moves come after a tumultuous year for the Blue Jackets’ coaching staff. Scott Arniel, who had been head coach since June 2010,was fired in January, and assistant coach Richards was given an interim label. Richards was formally named head coach of the Blue Jackets in March. Arniel has recently been named the head coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.