Friday, July 07, 2006

Scotty Comes Home

Paul Friesen (Winnipeg Sun) has a nice piece about Scott Arniel, the former Jet, returning to Winnipeg as the new Manitoba Moose coach:

Never mind that the Manitoba Moose found a head coach.

The big news yesterday was that Brendan and Stephanie Arniel got their dad back. Not to mention Lia Arniel will have somebody around to do the shovelling this winter.

The announcement that Scott Arniel has become the fifth head coach in Moose history could be summed up by the last three words of the man's acceptance speech at the downtown arena.

"I'm back home," Arniel said, and you got the impression nobody has ever been happier to have landed a job in Winnipeg.

No, he wasn't born here. But, like former Moose boss Randy Carlyle before him, Arniel has become an adopted Winnipegger.

Sometime after being drafted by the Jets 25-odd years ago, he fell in love with the place.

"Originally I used to go home every summer, back to Kingston," Arniel said. "Off and on, all the places I've played over the years, I always ended up back here. My wife's from here, my kids know Winnipeg ... this is home to them, as well. I love the city, I love the area, I love the friends I have here away from the game. It's just perfect."
It may be, but it took Arniel three tries to get the gig - he had previously lost out to Randy Carlyle and Alain Vigneault.

Arniel spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres. Here's what GM Darcy Regeir had to say (via Winnipeg Free Press):

"If people ever wonder how badly he wanted to be a head coach, all you have to do is look at the sacrifice he made, especially from his family's point of view," Regier said. "I think he's a great choice, for the team and for your fans. We're thrilled for him and we're sorry to lose him."

Regier, while he was working for the Islanders, first met Arniel when he was playing for the IHL's Utah Grizzlies.

"I was meeting (coach) Butch Goring and he made a point of saying to me that there's a guy in that room who's going to be an outstanding coach someday," Regier said. "He introduced me to Scott Arniel. He's a student of the game, he's passionate about it, he's always learning and he's got a great work ethic. That always stuck with me."
Canucks assistant GM Steve Tambellini concurs:

"I can tell you about his enthusiasm, his intelligence and his poiseafter having gone through a Stanley Cup run (with Buffalo)," said Vancouver vice-president and assistant GM Steve Tambellini, in Winnipeg for the announcement. "With his history with Manitoba, I can't think of a better person not only lead the Manitoba team, but to lead Vancouver prospects."
Arniel's playing and coaching stats are here (via hockeydb.com).

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 7:03 AM