COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Associate Coach Craig Hartsburg, Goaltending Coach Ian Clark and Development Coach Chris Clark to multi-year contract extensions, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. The Blue Jackets also signed former Springfield Falcons Head Coach Brad Larsen to a multi-year contract to serve as an assistant coach on Head Coach Todd Richards’ staff.
“Our coaching staff, led by Todd Richards, has done a tremendous job and we’re pleased to extend the contracts of Craig, Ian and Chris and to add a very bright young coach in Brad Larsen to the staff,” said Kekalainen. “We believe our coaching staff is as strong as any in the NHL and that they will continue to play pivotal roles in the development and success of our team moving forward.”
Hartsburg, 54, originally joined Columbus’ coaching staff on June 20, 2012 after spending the 2011-12 campaign as an associate coach with the Calgary Flames. He has over two decades worth of coaching experience, including stints as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks (1995-98), Anaheim Ducks (1998-01) and Ottawa Senators (2008-09).
A defenseman, Hartsburg appeared in 570 career NHL games with the Minnesota North Stars from 1979-89, amassing 98 goals and 315 assists for 413 points. He served as an assistant on Minnesota’s coaching staff upon his retirement as a player in 1989-90 and has also served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers from 1990-94 and again from 2002-04.
The Straford, Ontario native was twice named the Ontario Hockey League’s Coach of the Year – with Guelph in 1994-95 and with Sault Ste. Marie in 2001-02.
Ian Clark, 48, joined the Blue Jackets as goaltending coach on June 6, 2011 after serving in a similar capacity with the Vancouver Canucks for eight years. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, he was a member of Team Canada’s coaching staff at the IIHF World Junior Championships from 2003-06, winning two gold medals (2005, 2006) and two silver medals (2003, 2004) in that time.
Chris Clark, 38, has served as the Jackets’ development coach since retiring as a player following the 2011-12 campaign. He appeared in 607 games with Columbus, Washington and Calgary over the course of his 14-year career, tallying 103-111-214 and 700 penalty minutes. The South Windsor, Connecticut native also recorded 47-61-108 in 175 career AHL games with the Saint John Flames and Providence Bruins, winning the Calder Cup as a member of the Flames in 2000-01.
Originally hired by the Falcons as an assistant coach prior to the 2010-11 season, Larsen was promoted to head coach on May 21, 2012 and guided the club to a 92-45-15 record and a pair of Northeast Division titles in two seasons behind the bench. In his first year as Springfield’s bench boss, he guided the club to a 45-22-9 record, which represented a 21-point improvement over the previous season. The Falcons posted the first 100-point campaign in franchise history in 2013-14, finishing with the AHL’s third-best record at 47-23-6. The 36-year-old native of Nakusp, British Columbia, Larsen enjoyed a 13-year playing career that saw him register 19-29-48 and 134 penalty minutes in 294 NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche and Atlanta Thrashers. He also appeared in 384 career AHL contests before retiring at the end of the 2009-10 season.