Rangers’ Brassard, Arniel bury hatchet from Columbus feud

14 Comments

Rangers forward Derick Brassard and assistant coach Scott Arniel won’t let the past disrupt their future.

On Friday, Brassard told reporters there’s “no hard feelings” between the two from their rocky 2011-12 season in Columbus, when Arniel made Brassard a healthy scratch nearly 10 times — something Brassard’s agent, Allan Walsh, took exception to.

A quick refresher on that incident, from Brough’s post at the time:

You know how there were a bunch of trade rumors surrounding Blue Jackets forward Derick Brassard? Yeah, you’re about to hear a bunch more thanks to Brassard’s agent, Allan Walsh, who absolutely ripped Columbus coach Scott Arniel in a statement to Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline.

Apparently Walsh is none too pleased with his client spending so much time in the press box as a healthy scratch.

“While I have tremendous respect for (general manager) Scott Howson and the rest of Columbus’ management team, the situation regarding Derick Brassard has become untenable,” said Walsh. “This coach [Arniel] has a history of burying players and using them as scapegoats to mask his own lack of success on the ice.

“Derick has been singled out, almost from the very beginning of the season, to be the fall guy in case things don’t go well. The Columbus organization cares about Derick and has been good to him, but at some point, one has to say, enough is enough.”

The fallout from the incident was ugly.

Arniel was fired within months, Columbus finished dead last in the league and Brassard had a pretty average season overall.

But during the 2013 season, things changed.

Brassard was overjoyed about getting a “fresh start” in New York (as part of the Marian Gaborik trade) and responded by scoring 11 points in 13 regular season games, then led the Rangers in playoff scoring with 12 points in 12 games.

Arniel, meanwhile, accepted a gig with Vancouver’s then-AHL affiliate in Chicago, posting a 37-30-9 record before accepting a gig in New York to work under former Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault.

Now, Brassard and Arniel are reunited.

We’ll wait and see if it feels so good.