|The World Championships isn't just about getting Ken Hitchcock back|
behind an NHL bench...it might just be his last chance to help
the Columbus Blue Jackets become the team he hoped it would be.
He brings in Scott Arniel as an associate coach under the pretense of stocking the talent pool for Hockey Canada with young coaches. An "investment in the future" or something like that.
In the post-season interviews, Arniel lets slip that he and Hitch have not spoken since Arniel was hired as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He then says that he and Hitch have already agreed to have "a couple cups of coffee." Surely, they'll be restricting the conversation to Team Canada.
Then it's announced that former NHL winger Arniel will be coaching defense for Team Canada. Under defensively-minded Hitchcock. You know, the one who took the same CBJ defensive squad that Arniel had last season and...well...got to the playoffs. Arniel lets slip that he's pumping Brad Berry for coaching tips because, well, he hasn't coached defense before.
And then the team is announced. Blue Jackets Rick Nash, Antoine Vermette and Marc Methot all accept invitations to join the squad. (Steve Mason was invited but turned it down.) Nash throws out a line about how interesting it'll be to have his current and former coaches on the same staff. Then Nash is appointed team captain.
And then, Arniel suggests that the CBJ might want to have a second "system" to fall back upon because, well, playing with your hair on fire every night tends to wear the team down. Especially on back-to-backs. More or less, he says, "I made a rookie mistake." And a rather large one at that.
That's a lot to digest, isn't it?