Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis says Scott Arniel will be a candidate to become the next head coach of the franchise.
Nux GM MIke Gillis on radio re coach search: “Scott Arniel will be considered absolutely.” Arniel: “Definitely I’m interested.” #canucks
— Elliott Pap (@ElliottPap) May 23, 2013
Arniel, 50, spent last season coaching to the Canucks affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. Prior to that, he spent a season-and-a-half coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets between 2010 and 2012. He was the head coach of the Manitoba Moose between 2006 and 2010, leading the team to playoff berths in each of the four seasons and to the Calder Cup Finals.
During his time as the Moose head coach, Alexander Edler, Jannik Hansen, and Michael Grabner all developed under his watch to become NHL players. He has also been credited with getting Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider‘s career back on track after he struggled with the transition from college to professional hockey.
“The big thing with Cory is he had great success at the college level and obviously was a first round draft pick and had lots of hype, lots of talk about him being the next up-and-coming top-end goalie,” Arniel said recently. “He came to us in the AHL and I think he kind of had disrespect for the league. I think he looked at it like everything would come easy.”
Arniel said Schneider wasn’t taking practice seriously enough and wasn’t competing for pucks during games – a worrying development at the time. To turn around the bad start to his career, Schneider got a little bit of luck and a lot of good coaching.
If Arniel is hired as the new head coach, what style of play can we expect from him? After he was hired as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, he said he would be playing an up-tempo brand of hockey.
Players who have served time under Arniel have had good things to say about their coach. Jason Krog noted that Arniel was “very innovative with his coaching and the systems we play,” and also said, “He doesn’t limit creativity. I think guys respect that.” Nolan Baumgartner said, “He knows his stuff and his biggest strength is how he can teach the systems that he puts in place.”