An NHL assistant coach had his newly-signed contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets terminated over his decision not to get a Covid-19 vaccine, according to a representative for the team.
Sylvain Lefebvre, who signed a three-year contract with the team in June, will be replaced by Cleveland Monsters associate coach and former NHL defenseman Steve McCarthy, the team said in a statement Monday.
"Lefebvre has decided not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and thus will not be able to perform the duties required of him given current NHL protocols," the statement said.
"Protocols were sent to clubs the beginning of September," Blue Jackets vice president of communications Todd Sharrock told NBC News. "The protocols state in part that “any person whose job, role, position or access entails or entitles them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) must be fully vaccinated."
Lefebvre, a former NHL defenseman and Stanley Cup champion, was touted by management in June as a hire who would bring "experience" and a "family vibe" to the team.
"While we are disappointed, we respect that this decision is a personal one for Sylvain and wish him well," club general manager and alternate governor Jarmo Kekalainen said in the statement.
Lefebvre did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.