Tag: Scott Arniel

Scott Arniel

Report: Canucks eyeing ex-Columbus coach Arniel for AHL gig


According to the Vancouver Sun, the Canucks might turn back the clock in finding a replacement for Craig MacTavish, who recently left his heading coaching post with Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Chicago.

Scott Arniel — the former Columbus bench boss who coached Vancouver’s farm team when it was in Manitoba — is being considered as the club’s next coach.

“Scotty would be on our list, for sure,” said Canucks assistant GM Lorne Henning. “There will probably be five or six guys and Scotty will be one.”

Arniel 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 told the Sun. “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.

“I know the organization very well and I’ve obviously worked with Mike Gillis and Lorne and Laurence Gilman. There is lots of respect there and I think we’ve had a really good arrangement in the past.”

Vancouver would need to speak with Columbus prior to officially contacting Arniel as he’s still under contract. That said, there does seem to be interest in having him coach the club’s prized prospects in Chicago, as Arniel has a reputation for working well with young players.

Current NHLers that played under him in Manitoba include Cory Schneider, Alex Edler, Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen, Cody Hodgson and Michael Grabner.

Blue Jackets drop interim tag, hire Todd Richards on full time as head coach

Todd Richards

Apparently Todd Richards impressed Blue Jackets brass.

Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports the Jackets have dropped the interim tag on Richards’ position with the team and hired him on full-time to a two-year deal to coach the team. As Portzline notes, the Blue Jackets got to be a better late-game team under Richards than they were with previous head coach Scott Arniel.

Still, the Jackets went 18-21-2 under Richards. That includes an 11-8-0 record after March 1 and wins in five of their last six games, as the Jackets embraced the role of playoff spoiler down the stretch. One of the biggest struggles under Arniel was holding onto leads in the third period, but the Jackets went 14-0 under Richards when they led after 40 minutes.

That record isn’t exactly glowing but given how bad and downtrodden the team was with Arniel, Richards is a veritable miracle worker in comparison. The Jackets will now be on the hunt for a new assistant coach or two for Richards to have help out. One thing Richards won’t have yet is certainty on just who he’ll be coaching next season.

With Rick Nash rumors sure to fly again this summer as well as GM Scott Howson’s insistence that things change in goal, Richards will potentially have a lot of molding to do when training camp opens in September.

Is Scott Howson the right man for Blue Jackets’ rebuild?


If you’ve ever stayed awake long enough in a government class, you’ve probably heard about how the U.S. presidency changes hands in a “peaceful transfer of power.”

The NHL provides some rather interesting transitions between general managers, but not every new one has a particularly placid first year or so. (Example: as much as I disagree with Jay Feaster’s general philosophy in Calgary, it’s not like former Flames GM Darryl Sutter left him with a rich set of options.)

Blue Jackets hit the reset button (again)

For all the mistakes he’s made, Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson has made things a lot better in the last week than they were before. Antoine Vermette is a nice player, but it’s hard to argue with stockpiling picks because the two-way forward simply makes more sense on a mid-level contender such as Phoenix. Jack Johnson carries many of the same flaws as Jeff Carter – really, it only makes sense that he’ll wear No. 7 in Columbus too – but getting a quality young player like him and a solid first-rounder remains impressive.

Still, the question remains: whether Rick Nash stays or goes, does Scott Howson deserve to be the architect of the next rebuild?

My instinctive response is probably the same as most: “No.”

source: APPossible parallels

That being said, I cannot help but see some parallels between Howson’s situation and that of Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray. Both read the tea leaves and cleaned house. Each received a lot of heat for their teams’ failings.

Murray’s Senators are now on the verge of a surprise playoff run and play a captivating style to boot.

Naturally, there are some differences, too. Murray’s hockey resume is much larger – and more distinguished – than Howson’s comparatively limited experience. Being far-from-loyal to coaches is one of things that spawned a lot of mockery of Murray, but he wouldn’t have been able to hire likely Jack Adams finalist Paul MacLean if he didn’t have that itchy trigger finger.

(Some call it deflecting blame; others might say he was decisive. It’s probably both.)

The man in charge in Columbus will have some appealing assets to work with next summer, especially if Howson trades Nash.


Obviously it would help to know which GM candidates might be available this summer, but humor us with your thoughts: is Howson worthy of a chance to rebuild the Blue Jackets? Would it be wiser to clean the slate with a bountiful stash of draft picks in the next season or so?