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Columbus Fires Scott Arniel

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have relieved Head Coach Scott Arniel of his duties behind the bench and named Assistant Coach Todd Richards as the club’s interim head coach for the remainder of the 2011-12 season, club Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Scott Howson announced today. Richards, who joined the club as an assistant coach on June 20, 2011, will make his debut behind the Blue Jackets bench on Tuesday when the club visits the Chicago Blackhawks.

Richards, 45, compiled a 77-71-16 record as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild from 2009-11. He was named the second head coach in Wild history on June 16, 2009 and led the club to a 38-36-8 record in 2009-10 and a 39-35-8 mark in 2010-11. Prior to joining the Wild, he served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09 when the club compiled an NHL-best 53-18-11 record.

Richards spent two seasons as the head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2006-08, compiling a 98-49-13 record and leading the club to the 2008 Calder Cup Final. He also coached the PlanetUSA squad at the 2007 Rbk Hockey/AHL All-Star Classic in Toronto. He began his coaching career as an assistant with the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals from 2002-06, helping the club to a pair of West Division titles, two appearances in the Calder Cup Final and the 2004 Calder Cup championship.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+arniel

Comments

Chris from NOHS's avatar

Why they haven’t already hired Randy Carlye I don’t know.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 01/09/12 at 01:11 PM ET

Avatar

Howson might as well step down too…

Posted by Kale from Jackson Mi on 01/09/12 at 01:12 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

Like its his fault their goalies can’t stop a beach ball.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 01/09/12 at 01:28 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Scott Arniel should change his name to Scotty Arniél and start learning french.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 01/09/12 at 01:40 PM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

Lately, it’s not been just the goalies.  They are just a bad team.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 01/09/12 at 01:52 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

Exactly, if anyone should go its who brings in the players.  There’s a reason they haven’t been able to get a notable coach since Hitch, most look at the roster and go ‘no thanks’.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 01/09/12 at 01:54 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

Hello, Barry Smith…?

Posted by TheFreak on 01/09/12 at 01:54 PM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

Maybe if Howson left, the team might improve.  They’ve been bad for a long time.  Can’t be totally the fault of the multiple coaches they’ve been through.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 01/09/12 at 02:04 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Barry Smith will unfortunately never get a HCing gig in the NHL

Posted by Evilpens on 01/09/12 at 02:18 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I know I’ve been a broken record about this but I have to point the finger at Rick Nash.  Every other part of this team has been swapped out or improved upon but him.  Something/someone continues to poison the well in the Jackets locker room, and while the national press is starting to zero in on him, folks here in Columbus are still in denial over his failure as captain.  If the Jackets don’t expect Nash to forecheck, skate hard, and be responsible defensively, how can they expect the rest of the team to do so?

Columbus will probably have a ten game surge since the Jackets changed for the sake of changing, but don’t expect them to be better in the long term.  Firing Arniel is like slapping a band-aid on a chainsaw wound, and he wasn’t the problem in the first place.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/09/12 at 04:22 PM ET

Primis's avatar

There is not a coach that can help this team.

* D-men can’t skate.
* Goalies don’t get good coaching ore development.
* Too many forwards (not just Nash) go entire games or stretches of multiple games coasting and not really involved in the play.
* Too many dumb players on the team that take dumb penalties/suspensions for dumb things.

Folks, you’re watching the final days of the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

Posted by Primis on 01/09/12 at 04:36 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Barry Smith will unfortunately never get a HCing gig in the NHL

Posted by Evilpens on 01/09/12 at 11:18 AM ET

I still say he was the guy that should have succeeded Bowman in DET, not Lewis.  I and many others said that from Day 1 when Lewis was named.

I don’t get it.

Posted by Primis on 01/09/12 at 04:38 PM ET

Avatar

Every other part of this team has been swapped out or improved upon but him.

Have they though?  They’ve never brought in a playmaking centre to play with him, instead bringing in ANOTHER finisher (Jeff Carter).  They haven’t improved their goaltending.  They overpaid of an overrated defenseman.  It’s not like the team has improved everywhere else, is it?

You are absolutely right about him being the captain though but again, is that his fault?  I guess he could’ve refused the captaincy, but he shouldn’t have been given it in the first place.

Posted by Garth on 01/09/12 at 04:39 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Every other part of this team has been swapped out or improved upon but him.

Have they though?  They’ve never brought in a playmaking centre to play with him, instead bringing in ANOTHER finisher (Jeff Carter).  They haven’t improved their goaltending.  They overpaid of an overrated defenseman.  It’s not like the team has improved everywhere else, is it?

You are absolutely right about him being the captain though but again, is that his fault?  I guess he could’ve refused the captaincy, but he shouldn’t have been given it in the first place.

Posted by Garth on 01/09/12 at 01:39 PM ET

I know comparing Nash to Yzerman & co. isn’t exactly fair, but just consider these hypotheticals:

Detroit never brought in a play making line mate for Yzerman…

LA never brought in a play making line mate for Robitaille…

Pittsburgh never brought in a play making line mate for Crosby…

etc, etc,

If it sounds ridiculous to you, thats because it is.  I know that those situations aren’t equal to whats happening in Columbus, but when does he finally get his share of the blame? 

Nash should be making his teammates better, not waiting around for someone to make him better.  The CBJ and the Columbus sports media have made a cottage industry out of creating excuses for this guy, and every year (with the exception of 2008) the team has gotten worse under his captaincy.  His work ethic would get him benched on most NHL squads. 

I agree with you that its also up to the other players to take some pride in their game, but put yourself in their skates for a moment.  How hard would you really work on a powder puff team when you see whats expected of the team’s highest paid player, and the performance he turns in?  The Jackets really don’t seem to mind losing at all, I think that starts with the captain.  Firing Arniel is yet another example of Columbus’ unwillingness to be honest with themselves about their “franchise” player.  At what point do you start being honest about a players realized/unrealized potential?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/09/12 at 05:10 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

I know comparing Nash to Yzerman & co. isn’t exactly fair, but just consider these hypotheticals:

Detroit never brought in a play making line mate for Yzerman…

LA never brought in a play making line mate for Robitaille…

Pittsburgh never brought in a play making line mate for Crosby…

etc, etc,
Posted by bezukov from South of Detroit on 01/09/12 at 02:10 PM ET

This says all you need to know about the Blue Jackets.  They had an opportunity to grab this college town while the Buckeyes football team was off getting tattooed.  Columbus can’t do anything right.

Posted by wolverine on 01/09/12 at 05:38 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

Barry Smith will unfortunately never get a HCing gig in the NHL.

Ok then, just bring in Mike Keane. Things will take care of themselves.

Posted by TheFreak on 01/09/12 at 05:40 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Ok then, just bring in Mike Keane. Things will take care of themselves.

Posted by TheFreak on 01/09/12 at 02:40 PM ET

Or Mike Milbury.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 01/09/12 at 05:45 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

And how about Hitchcock? Yeah people have their opinions of his tenure in CBJ, but he was handcuffed as well, and now the Hitch is succeeding elsewhere (away from Nash). smile

Posted by TheFreak on 01/09/12 at 05:52 PM ET

Avatar

Nash should be making his teammates better, not waiting around for someone to make him better.

I understand the point you’re making and to a degree you’re right, but Nash is who he is.  You don’t bring in Nash because he’s an amazing two-way player.  He’s a scorer, pure and simple.  Dertroit may not have brought in a set-up man for Yzerman, but they surrounded him with elite players and it wasn’t until focus was shifted away from “Steve Yzerman’s Detroit Red Wings”, towards “The Detroit Red Wings (with Steve Yzerman)” that was able to develop his two-way game more.

Rick Nash has played 8 season and recorded at least 30 goals in 6 of those, and this year even with Columbus being as shitty as they are, he’s still not far off the 30 goal pace as it is.

I also don’t see why a goal scorer should be looked at to make his teammates better.  Is that something goal scorers do?  Did Brett Hull do that?  Does Ovechkin do that?  Did Pavel Bure do that?

Nash is generally a one-dimensional player and if you don’t build a good team around a one-dimensional player then it’s pointless to complain about hime being one-dimensional.

Posted by Garth on 01/09/12 at 06:06 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Nash is generally a one-dimensional player and if you don’t build a good team around a one-dimensional player then it’s pointless to complain about hime being one-dimensional.

Posted by Garth on 01/09/12 at 03:06 PM ET

You’re probably right on that point, but none of that excuses his lack of forechecking, unwillingness to skate hard, and lack of leadership.  I agree that you can’t blame it all on him, but the tack of “______ for Rick Nash” is an organizational mantra that is killing this team.  The buck has been getting passed year after year.  I just think the Jackets should ask him to waive his NMC and move on.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/09/12 at 06:22 PM ET

Avatar

I just think the Jackets should ask him to waive his NMC and move on.

I think that’s more than a little short-sighted.  I think they should get a new GM, one with the imperative of “build a better team around Nash” and see what happens.

Nash today isn’t any different (better or worse) than he was when they signed him to his eight-year extension, so why throw him out in the rebuild?  He’s absolutely someone you can build around, so why not try that before you get rid of the face of, and the biggest name on, your team?

And no, he should absolutely not be the captain.

To me Rick Nash is very similar to Ovechkin.  Maybe at some point they can become better two way players, but not until they’ve been surrounded by a good team.  Until then, let them be who they are and don’t complain about them not being Sid Crosby or Pavel Datsyuk.

Datsyuk was able to develop into the player he is now because he was never relied upon to be any one thing.  He came onto an excellent team and was able to develop at his pace.

Plus, Nash will be tough to trade.  How many teams are going to be willing to take on 6+ years at $8M+?  Ideally you need a team that is already solid and developed, a team on which Rick Nash will not be the sole focus.

Posted by Garth on 01/09/12 at 07:06 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

The Jackets don’t have one single problem, or to put it another way there are multiple people responsible for them sucking so bad.  Nash definitely should put forth more effort and make a better example for the other players on his team.  That’s part of wearing the “C”.  And Howson should be gone.  His player decisions are terrible.  He has continually made poor choices and overpaid for marginal players.  Ownership takes some of that blame too, they have not fired Howson.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/09/12 at 11:12 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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