Todd Richards is losing the word ''interim'' from his job title with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Richards became the Blue Jackets' interim coach in January when Scott Arniel was fired. The team said Monday that he agreed to a two-year contract after the Blue Jackets' record improved under the 45-year-old former Minnesota Wild coach.
Details of the deal were not released.
Richards led Columbus for the final 41 games of the season after being elevated from assistant coach, going 18-21-2. The Blue Jackets finished the season with the NHL's worst record at 29-46-7 but lost out in the lottery and will have the No. 2 pick in the draft.
Richards went 77-71-16 in two seasons in Minnesota before being fired last year. He then joined Columbus as an assistant. The Blue Jackets played their best hockey at the end of the season, going 16-14-1 in their final 31 games, with wins in seven of their last 11. The club was just 9-6-2 with a lead after two periods under Arniel but was 14-0-0 when ahe...