While the news of Randy Carlyle’s departure from Anaheim has cooled a bit, there are still murmurs as to his future, potentially with the Winnipeg Jets. Now you can add another ex-pat of Jets v.1 to the list of available coaches, as Scott Arniel was released from his duties today by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Arniel was just over a year into his tenure with the club, after being hired away from the Manitoba Moose (thus opening the door for current Jets bench boss Claude Noel).
The firing had long been a source of speculation for hockey pundits. With six other coaches getting the axe this year, it seemed inevitable that the Jackets would pin their woes on Arniel, who suited up for both the Jets and Moose during his playing career.
Arniel’s sudden availability throws another name into the burning fire of potential Jet hires down the road; but the team is not in the dire straits that would necessitate a coaching switch.
While it appeared, back in November, that the team was headed nowhere but the golf course come playoff time, the Jets continue to hover in the mix for the last couple spots. At the midway point of the season, they sit just one point out of a trip to the postseason.
Certainly there is room for Arniel should he be interested. He was the AHL’s coach of the year in 2008-09, a season where he guided the Manitoba Moose to the Calder Cup Finals, and was an assistant coach in Buffalo previously.
The obvious question that has to be asked is where you’d put a guy like Arniel, and whether or not he’d accept a demoted position. The AHL affiliate St. John’s Ice Caps sit in first in the Atlantic Division so there’s no spot there open. Scouting is an option, but the question lies in whether or not Arniel would take on that role. Head office at TNSE, meanwhile, is fairly well occupied.
Inevitably, Scott Arniel will find another hockey job, but if you’re Craig Heisinger and Mark Chipman, you’re certainly looking at Arniel as a possible add to your staff. Arniel was fantastic with the Moose and in the right system he could help guide a team properly.