Matt and Andrew gave their thoughts earlier in today's events, and now I'll throw mine into the mix. First there was the confirmation that Guy Boucher rejected the offer from Columbus, and now it's being reported that Scott Arniel has been hired as the team's new head coach, with the formal announcement coming tomorrow morning. Matt outlines some of the potential reasons for Boucher declining, and Andrew brings us back to earth with his optimistic view on the situation.
I was a little taken aback when I heard the news that Boucher declined. I'll admit that I had convinced myself that it was a done deal, and he was the next coach. I went as far as delving into all of the available reports and media on the guy. I grew to really like him. Unfortunately, I didn't focus any more effort on Scott Arniel.
From what I was able to find this evening though Scott seems like just as good a fit as Boucher. Sure, he doesn't have the untested new system that still may not translate to the NHL, but Arniel has pro experience as the top dog in Manitoba of the AHL for the past four years. Those Moose teams have always had something in common- they don't get scored on often but they put a ton of pucks in the net. Arniel is a former NHLer as well, which always helps in relating to players. Knowing a guy was in their position before always aids in getting the message across.
I can certainly embrace the hiring of Arniel. He is GM Scott Howson's first coaching hire, and this will just add to Howson's stamp on the team. He now has his own coach, and a vast majority of the players on the roster were acquired by him. When the puck drops later this October, a new chapter in Columbus Blue Jackets history will begin.
Welcome to the Jackets, Arnie!