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Blue Jackets move on quickly, will hire Scott Arniel as head coach

You want proof that things move quickly sometimes when searching for a head coach, look no further than what the Columbus Blue Jackets are doing today. Just a short while ago, we reported to you that AHL Hamilton Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher was turning down Columbus’ offer to be their head coach to remain in the Montreal organization. Now, it appears that Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson has moved on to the next choice on his list according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.

#CBJ will introduce coach Scott Arniel at 3 p.m. on Tuesday

The 48 year-old Arniel has been head coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) the last four seasons, taking them to the playoffs each season and reaching the Calder Cup final last year. Arniel was also an assistant with the Buffalo Sabres for three seasons under Lindy Ruff before taking the head coaching position with the Moose. The guy knows his way around the game by now and having four years to prepare for the NHL should do him well. Getting three years of study under Lindy Ruff shouldn’t hurt either as Ruff is the longest-tenured head coach in the league.

The Blue Jackets hiring of Arniel now puts the Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils on the clock to hire a new head coach.