The NHL team said on Monday that the decision to let Lefebvre go was because he would not be able “to perform the duties required of him given current NHL protocols.”
Under current National Hockey League Covid-19 protocols, each club’s coaching staff and operations staff must be fully immunized. Players do not have to be vaccinated but those who are not face much stricter protocols than those who are.
Former NHL defenseman Lefebvre was introduced by the team less than two months ago and was scheduled to serve under new head coach Brad Larsen.
“Although we are disappointed, we respect the fact that this decision is personal for Sylvain and wish him good luck,” said Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on Monday.
Lindsay Artkin, president of the NHL Coaches Association (NHLCA), told CNN Lefebvre had no comment at this time.
Lefebvre played in over 1,000 games during a 14-season NHL career from 1989 to 2003. He won the Stanley Cup in 1996 as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
The Blue Jackets replaced Lefebvre with Steve McCarthy, who arrives after being an assistant coach of the Cleveland Monsters, a Columbus branch in the American Hockey League.
When asked if the NHLCA has a comment on the situation, Artkin said in a statement to CNN: “The NHL and each of the 32 member clubs have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for all employees, players. , fans and coaches.
“We support the comprehensive protocols that have been put in place by the NHL and its clubs to protect the health and well-being of all.
“Our members are diligently preparing for the upcoming season and are delighted to be returning to the ice. As this is a matter of labor law between clubs and their employees, out of respect for both parties, we do not cannot comment on their particular situation at this point.