The Jets promote Scott Arnell to replace Rick Bowness as coach

Scott Arnell, who played for the previous incarnation of the franchise in the 1980s, was named the new coach of the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Although the Jets interviewed other candidates for their opening, it was widely speculated that Arniel would end up getting the job thanks to his ties to the franchise and city as well as his prior head coaching experience.

Arnell, 61, was the Jets’ assistant coach for the past two seasons under Rick Bowness, who retired after the season. Arnell served as the Jets’ interim head coach during Bowness’ three absences due to family and health reasons. Arnell posted a 15-7-3 record in that interim role over those 25 games in 2022-23 and 2023-24.

He was the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2010-12, and was replaced midseason by Todd Richards during the 2011-12 season. Columbus finished outside the playoffs in both of Arnell’s years behind the bench.

Arnell was an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres (2002-06), New York Rangers (2013-18) and Washington Capitals (2018-22) in the NHL. He was the head coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose from 2006 to 2010.

Drafted by the previous incarnation of the Jets in 1981, Arnell played six seasons as a forward in Winnipeg. Overall, he played 730 games in the NHL with the Jets, Sabers and Boston Bruins.

Winnipeg finished second in the Central Division with 110 points this season, earning Bowness a nomination for the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year. But the Jets lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to the Colorado Avalanche in five games.

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“I think they did a great job,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said of his coaching staff. “We instilled a structure that showed we could win. There was a level of consistency over a long period of time.”

The Jets’ hiring means there are two coaching vacancies in the NHL: the San Jose Sharks and the Seattle Kraken.

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