American Hockey League coach Steve McCarthy has replaced Sylvain Lefebvre as an assistant on the Columbus Blue Jackets' staff after Lefebvre elected not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the team announced on Monday.
"While we are disappointed, we respect that this decision is a personal one for Sylvain and wish him well," said general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. "We feel fortunate to have an outstanding coach join our club in Steve McCarthy, who has played in this league, won championships as a player and been an important member of our hockey operations department as an assistant coach in Cleveland."
The 53-year-old Lefebvre was hired by Columbus back in late June after working as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks' AHL affiliate. Lefebvre was also a head coach in the AHL for six seasons with the Hamilton Bulldogs (2012-15), St. John's IceCaps (2015-17) and Laval Rocket (2017-18).
The native of Richmond, Que., also has NHL coaching experience, spending three seasons as an assistant behind the bench with the Colorado Avalanche staring in 2009.
As a player, Lefebvre spent time with the Habs, Toronto Maple Leafs, Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers, winning the Stanley Cup in 1996 with the Avs.
McCarthy, meanwhile, has spent the past five seasons as an assistant with the Jackets' AHL affiliate in Cleveland.
"Steve has done a great job working with our young defencemen in Cleveland the past five years and is ready for this opportunity," said Columbus head coach Brad Larsen. "He is a really bright, young coach with a great work ethic and I'm excited about what he will bring to our staff."
The 40-year-old played 302 career games in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Thrashers.