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Blue Jackets fire Coach King

  |   Jan. 7, 2003 at 11:57 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A day after blasting his team for a lack of intensity, tThe Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday fired Dave King, the franchise's first coach since its inception in 2000-01.

"This was an extremely difficult decision to make because Dave King is a tremendous person who has worked extremely hard for the Blue Jackets organization over the past three years," Blue Jackets President and General Manager Doug MacLean said.

MacLean will take over as interim coach for the remainder of the season.

After a surprising 7-5-1-1 start, the Blue Jackets have gone 7-15-3-1 since Nov. 12.

"At this time I don't think we are where we should be as a team and this will allow me to evaluate our personnel from a different perspective," MacLean said.

The last straw for King came on Monday night when the Blue Jackets lost at home to the Nashville Predators, who have the worst record in the Western Conference.

Following the 5-1 defeat, King ripped the team for its lack of intensity. Blue Jackets left wing Ray Whitney agreed with his former coach's assessment.

"It was pretty much an embarrassment in terms of effort, execution and intensity," Whitney said after the game.

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