Report: Arniel chooses Vancouver over San Jose? (Update — yes, he did)

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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.