Blue Jackets Assemble Diverse Coaching Mix for 2010/11

Dobber Sports




If you follow junior hockey, then you probably already know the latest must-know news in CHL circles – former head coach of the Windsor Spitfires, Bob Boughner, has signed on as the newest assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets (and if you love junior hockey, but don't know what I'm talking about, then get familiar with Neate Sager's Buzzing the Net blog at Yahoo! Sports Canada).


Boughner, who guided the Spitfires to back-to-back Memorial Cup victories, is only the latest addition to a Blue Jackets coaching staff that began its latest evolutional stage when former head coach Ken Hitchcock was fired in early February of last season.


Let's take a look at the new personalities in Ohio who are going to affect Rick Nash and the rest of your favourite Jackets.


Head Coach Scott Arniel


Columbus made headlines recently as they courted last year's AHL coach-of-the-year, Guy Boucher, before the former head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs accepted the head coach position in Tampa Bay.


Shortly after Boucher opted for Yzerman and company, Scott Arniel was offered the job and his appointment was officially announced on June 8th.  During the announcement, Blue Jackets' GM, Scott Howson, had this to say, ”Scott Arniel possesses all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach …He played in the NHL for many years, was an assistant coach in the league, and has been successful in developing young players. Scott has been one of the top coaches in the American Hockey League the past four years, averaging 45 wins and 99 points a season playing an attacking, up-tempo game.”


Playing an attacking, up-tempo game?  Well, well…that would be a welcome change from Hitchcock's straight-jacket style of play for those of us who own (or are interested in owning) Blue Jackets in the coming season.


Some might suspect Howson of simply trying to differentiate Ariel from the notoriously defensive Hitchcock, who oversaw the Blue Jackets' colossal step backward last season.  But Arniel is no unknown.  While it was Boucher who took home last year's AHL top coach honours, it was none other than Arniel who received the award the year before as the head coach of the Manitoba Moose.


Impressive to be sure, but as is the case for players, just because you're money in the real world, doesn't necessarily make you a desirable fantasy commodity.  Here are some scoring numbers for the Moose during Arniel's four-year coaching reign in Winnipeg.


Manitoba Moose

GF (AHL ranking)

GA (AHL ranking)


204 (25th)

232 (16th)