|Out of ideas and way short on wins, Scott Arniel was shown the|
door as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
So that's it. The news is out.
The news is now a bit old, but it's still comment-worthy. Scott Arniel has been "relieved of duties" as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Not fired, relieved of duties, which probably means that Arniel is going to be scouting KHL games in Magnitogorsk or something.
I will offer no eulogy on this blog for Arniel. If you want to read what I and my compadres think of his performance as head coach, go read the last year and a half's blog posts. It'll give you plenty to mull over. Honestly, he might be a great guy (and I don't know that to be the case, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt), but he has not been anything resembling the coach that the Columbus Blue Jackets needs.
So that's it. Buh-bye.
|Todd Richards is the CBJ's|
interim head coach.
Problem is, the team is the same as it was last night. And that team, be it the overly-protected and largely overpaid "young core" or the over-hyped new acquisitions, has demonstrably proven that it cannot Get It Done. Individually, they might be terrific. Together, they would have a hard time beating any professional hockey team on any given night.
There is a fundamental flaw in the way that this team has been constructed, and blame for that falls not on the coach but on the general manager. And as I said in a comment to one of Gallos' fine commentaries, Scott Howson pretty much lost whatever touch he had in constructing the Columbus Blue Jackets roster when he decided that he had a better idea of how to build a winning hockey team than Ken Hitchcock (a guy who, you know, WON)...right about the time that Nikita Filatov was drafted and forced upon Hitch. I likely will never concede that Arniel is a good head coach, but that fact that Ken Hitchcock couldn't get this team to play, let alone win, over time pretty much meant that the much less capable Arniel was set up to fail from day one.
So that's it. Hit the reset button.
Perhaps the most telling (and perhaps talked about elsewhere, but I haven't bothered to read anyone else's commentary) point about the timing of this firing was that it coincided with 'senior advisor' Craig Patrick's first full road trip with the team - an accommodation to Howson, who wanted to watch the World Junior Championships in person. That it took just one weekend with Patrick around for Arniel to get the ziggy tells me that Patrick may indeed be in a stronger position within the franchise than I figured from the public posturing about how he was hired to advise Howson (and only Howson).
It's time to clean house, perhaps with Patrick as the man to run the transition if not become the new Dear Leader for the Boys in Union Blue. The team needs to seriously consider jettisoning that dysfunctional core, getting whatever the market will bear for a bunch of guys who largely haven't played up to their often-impressive contracts. They need new personnel leadership to identify the talent that will work with whatever identity that this team settles upon. They need strong and unflinching coaching to make sure that the vision is achieved...even if that means ruffling some feathers in the
So that's it. I'm getting back to my vacation.