The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Taps Josh Duhamel to Replace Emilio Estevez

Coach Gordon Bombay won't be returning for the second season of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers on Disney+, but the series has officially found his replacement. With Emilio Estevez exiting Disney's Mighty Ducks sequel series, Disney+ has had some big shoes to fill with Season 2 on the horizon. It turns out the House of Mouse will be looking to none other than Josh Duhamel to take over as the show's male lead.

Duhamel has joined the cast of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers in Season 2, but he won't be simply taking over the role of Gordon Bombay. The Transformers and Jupiter's Legacy star is playing a brand new character to the franchise, simply filling in as the grizzled coach of the youth hockey team.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Duhamel has been tapped to play a character named Gavin Cole, a former NHL player. Cole is describes as "inspirational, charming, and hardcore," and he runs the summer hockey institute where the Mighty Ducks end up playing in the second season. Lauren Graham, the main adult lead for the series, will be returning for the second season.

After Mighty Ducks: Game Changers was renewed by Disney+ for a second season, issues between Disney and Estevez led to his exit from the franchise. Initial reports suggested that Estevez wouldn't provide proof to Disney that he would comply with COVID vaccine mandates on set. Estevez attributed his exit to contract disputes and creative differences with Disney and the series, going as far as to see he wasn't against the vaccine, but he was "anti-bully."

One of the biggest questions raised by the loss of Bombay is how this new iteration of Mighty Ducks will continue connecting to the teams of the past. Several actors from the first two Mighty Ducks movies returned for an episode of the show's first season, and at the heart of their comeback was their relationship to Bombay. Creator Steve Brill has already confirmed that he's hoping to get more stars from the films to appear in Game Changers' second season. That task could prove a little tougher without Bombay, at least from a story perspective. Josh Jackson's Charlie Conway and Kenan Thompson's Russ Tyler are highest on the wish list for fans of the franchise.

What do you think of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers' new addition? Let us know in the comments!