The Winnipeg Jets have named Scott Arniel their new head coach, who played for the previous incarnation of the franchise in the 1980s.

Although the Jets interviewed other candidates for their opening, it was widely speculated that Arniel would end up with the job thanks to his ties to the franchise and the city, as well as his previous head coaching experience.

Arniel, 61, was the Jets’ associate coach for the last two seasons under Rick Bowness, who retired after the season. Arniel served as interim head coach for the Jets during a trio of absences by Rick Bowness due to family and health reasons. Arniel posted a 15-7-3 record in that interim role over those 25 games in 2022-23 and 2023-24.

He was the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2010-12, getting replaced midseason by Todd Richards during the 2011-12 season. Columbus finished outside the playoffs in both of Arniel’s years behind the bench.

Arniel was an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres (2002-06), New York Rangers (2013-18) and Washington Capitals (2018-22) in the NHL. He was the head coach of the Manitoba Moose of the AHL from 2006-10.

Drafted by the previous incarnation of the Jets in 1981, Arniel played six seasons as a forward in Winnipeg. Overall, he played 730 games in the NHL with the Jets, Sabres and Boston Bruins.

Winnipeg finished second in the Central Division with 110 points this season, earning Bowness a nomination for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s best coach. But the Jets lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Colorado Avalanche in five games.

“I think they did a great job,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said of his coaching staff. “We instilled a structure that showed we could win with it. There was a level of consistency for a long period of time.”

The Jets’ hiring means there are now two coaching vacancies currently remaining in the NHL: The San Jose Sharks and the Seattle Kraken.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here