The Columbus Blue Jackets have fired head coach Todd Richards, replacing him with former Vancouver Canucks bench boss John Tortorella.

Blue Jackets replace head coach Todd Richards with John Tortorella.

Blue Jackets replace head coach Todd Richards with John Tortorella.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was inevitable. After stumbling from the gate 0-7-0, Blue Jackets management had to do something. While they were shopping around for a top-two defenseman, they simply couldn’t find that type of help via the trade market. Their only option left was a coaching change.

Richards becomes the first NHL coach to lose his job this season. He guided the Jackets to a playoff berth in 2013, and did his best to keep his injury-decimated club competitive last season. However, the Jackets put themselves into a deep hole with their current losing skid. Richards struggled to find solutions without success.

In Tortorella, the Jackets get a proven NHL coach who’s a proponent of an up-tempo defensive system involving physical play and shot blocking. He’s also infamous for his short temper. While “Torts” had success in Tampa Bay (winning a Stanley Cup in 2004) and the New York Rangers, he only lasted one season with the Vancouver Canucks after they missed the playoffs in 2013-14. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly he reverses the Jackets’ slide.