Around the NHL: Richards out in Columbus, Stars shinning and more

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The NHL has seen it's first coaching casualty of the season. The Columbus Blue Jackets announced earlier this week they have fired head coach Todd Richards. The decision comes on the heels of the Jackets 0-7-0 start through Tuesday night.

Richards amassed a 127-112-21 record with one postseason appearance in his five seasons in Columbus. 

John Tortorella has been hired to replace him. Tortorella was last behind a bench in 2013-14 when lead Vancouver to a 36-35-11 record in his lone season with the Canucks. He is 446-375-37-78 lifetime as a head coach for Tampa Bay, New York and Vancouver. He won the Stanley Cup in 2004 with Tampa.

Keith 

Earlier this week Chicago learned it would be without the services of former Norris Trophy and reigning Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith. Keith will miss 4-6 weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

The Blackhawks blueliner was averaging 24 minutes of ice time per game in all situations prior to the injury. In his absence, expect Brent Seabrooke and Niklas Hjalmarsson to pick up the slack on the back end.

Chicago currently sits in sixth place in the central division. With St. Louis, Nashville and Dallas all off to great starts, the Hawks will need to weather the storm with Keith out if they hope to stay within striking distance. 

Bright Texas Sky

If the night sky in Texas seems brighter these days it is because of the red hot play of the Dallas Stars. The Stars are rolling right now. With last night's 4-1 win in Pittsburgh, the Stars completed a perfect 4-0-0 east coast road trip.

Overall Dallas has won five straight games scoring at least four goals in all but one of those victories.

Reigning Art Ross winner Jamie Benn leads the offensive charge. His six goals are tied for the league lead and his 10 points is good for second. In goal the tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi have split duties with each netminder picking up three wins.

League Leaders through 10/22/15

Goals – Benn, Parise (6)

Assists – Hanzal (9)

Points – Krejci (10)

Plus/Minus – Markov (+10)

Wins – Price (6)

Bill Minchin is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow Bill on Twitter @wtfd103074