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Former Sabres Player and Coach Named Winnipeg Jets Head Coach

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Scott Arniel Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets named Scott Arniel as their new head coach Friday. Arniel takes over for the retired Rick Bowness after serving as Associate Coach on the Jets’ staff. It is a natural move to promote Arniel, as he filled in for Bowness twice during the 2023-2024 season as the former head coach had two brief absences from the team for personal reasons.

Buffalo Sabres fans will be familiar with Arniel from his days as a player (1986-1990) and assistant coach (2002-2006). He served on the Sabres’ staff under current head coach Lindy Ruff. They were also teammates for three seasons in Buffalo.

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Arniel joins Ruff and Colorado’s Jared Bednar as current NHL head coaches to play in the Sabres organization. Bednar suited up in 19 games for the Rochester Americans in 1997-1998.

He also joins Philadelphia’s John Tortorella as current NHL head coaches to serve as assistants behind the bench in Buffalo.

Arniel brings head coaching experience to the Jets beyond his stints this past season. He previously served as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2010 to 2012. Besides Buffalo, he also was an assistant with the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.

Arniel is the fifth new head coaching hire since the end of the regular season. Following Ruff being rehired by the Sabres in April, Travis Green was hired by the Ottawa Senators, Craig Berube by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Sheldon Keefe by the New Jersey Devils.

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Two coaching vacancies are remaining after the news. The San Jose Sharks are looking for someone to coach their rebuilding squad after firing David Quinn. The Seattle Kraken moved on from Dave Hakstol, looking for a new coach to help them return to the playoffs.