Blue Jackets move on quickly, will hire Scott Arniel as head coach

You want proof that things move quickly sometimes when searching for a head coach, look no further than what the Columbus Blue Jackets are doing today. Just a short while ago, we reported to you that AHL Hamilton Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher was turning down Columbus’ offer to be their head coach to remain in the Montreal organization. Now, it appears that Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson has moved on to the next choice on his list according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. 

#CBJ will introduce coach Scott Arniel at 3 p.m. on Tuesday

The 48 year-old Arniel has been head coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) the last four seasons, taking them to the playoffs each season and reaching the Calder Cup final last year. Arniel was also an assistant with the Buffalo Sabres for three seasons under Lindy Ruff before taking the head coaching position with the Moose. The guy knows his way around the game by now and having four years to prepare for the NHL should do him well. Getting three years of study under Lindy Ruff shouldn’t hurt either as Ruff is the longest-tenured head coach in the league.

The Blue Jackets hiring of Arniel now puts the Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils on the clock to hire a new head coach.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.