PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Thomas Vanek might be a former Minnesota Golden Gopher, but the lockout has him thinking of going back home to Austria. (Niagara Gazette)
Former Jackets coach Scott Arniel is itching to get going in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves. (The Province)
Terry Murray is looking to do the same in Glens Falls, NY with the Adirondack Phantoms, his fifth stint with the Flyers organization. (Philly.com)
Dustin Byfuglien wants to be in the Norris Trophy discussion. (Winnipeg Sun)
David Clarkson is cool with staying at home for now. (Fire & Ice)
Sabres assistant coach is used to all this lockout stuff both as a player and now behind the bench. (Winnipeg Sun)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is itching to get things started in Oklahoma City during the lockout. (Globe And Mail)
According to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press, ex-Blue Jackets bench boss Scott Arniel is finalizing a deal with the Vancouver Canucks to become head coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.
If accurate, it would refute an earlier report that Arniel was set to become Todd McLellan’s assistant in San Jose.
Arniel, 49, was fired by Columbus in January after a dismal 11-25-5 start to the campaign. He’s been out of work since, but sounded as though he’d relish the opportunity to get back in the coaching ranks, regardless of league.
“It is interesting,” Arniel said earlier this month regarding the AHL Chicago gig. “As a coach, you’re always looking at opportunities. I want to be an NHL head coach again but I don’t know if there is anything for me this year. Certainly there are some assistant jobs available but this one [Wolves] is intriguing.”
That Arniel (reportedly) picked the Canucks organization isn’t much of a surprise. He coached Vancouver’s farm team when it was in Manitoba, from 2006-10.
Update: Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch said he’s spoken with Arniel and yes, he has taken the AHL Chicago job.
Many believe that the San Jose Sharks’ coaching staff lacked NHL experience beyond head coach Todd McLellan. Now they’re set to add a guy who fits that bill, although his most recent experience could probably be described as “harrowing.” Roger Millions reports that the team is on the verge of giving an assistant coaching gig to former Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel.
To be fair to Arniel, he didn’t have nearly as much to work with in Columbus as he would in San Jose – assistant or not. Matthew Taylor does bring up a potential downside, though: if Arniel and Rick Nash left off on bad terms, it wouldn’t help the Sharks’ chances of nabbing the big trade target.
At the same time, Arniel likely deserves some benefit of the doubt, especially since he’d be in an assistant role. This could be the first of a few pivotal moves for a Sharks team that still has plenty of questions to answer this summer.