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Inevitable: Blue Jackets fire Scott Arniel

Jan 9, 2012, 9:58 AM EDT

Scott Arniel Getty Images

You can make it seven.

Scott Arniel is the seventh head coach to be fired this season as the Blue Jackets have decided to let Arniel go after leading Columbus to the worst record in the NHL. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports that assistant coach, and former Wild head coach, Todd Richards will take over as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Arniel’s record with Columbus this season finishes at a miserable 11-25-5 with just 27 points in the standings. Through one and a half seasons in Columbus, Arniel finishes 45-60-18.

This summer, the Blue Jackets spent big to get James Wisniewski and Jeff Carter and tried to set things up for a possible run at the playoffs. Instead it saw suspensions and injuries get the worst of things on top of miserable goaltending by Steve Mason as well to see the Blue Jackets fall to the bottom of the West and 20 points out of eighth place in the Western Conference.

Arniel also struggled to figure out just what he wanted to do with his lineup and had his ups and downs in handling the team’s potential young stars. The most obvious situation came when Derick Brassard ended up in the doghouse leading to his agent pointing the finger for Columbus’ struggles at Arniel just last month.

A ton of blame falls on Arniel for not being able to figure things out, but now it’s on GM Scott Howson to figure out how to save his own job as well. This is a situation that isn’t going to change overnight the way it did in St. Louis.

  1. buffalomafia - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Im surprised Buffalo hasnt fired thete coach & GM yet?

    Then again everything in Buffalo sports is just plain mediocrity!!!

  2. bigbear42 - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    The only reason this took so long I can fathom is that the coach they wanted to replace him with was not available or something along those lines

  3. davebabychreturns - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    I think his decision to have Jeff Carter separate his shoulder must’ve been the last straw.

  4. govtminion - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Howson might want to ask if Arniel has any spare boxes left over when he’s done cleaning out his office. If there’s any justice, Howson will need them before the draft. Arniel didn’t do well in Columbus, obviously, but he also didn’t get handed much to work with. And that, as you can imagine, falls on Howson. Or SHOULD, anyway.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      Agreed, there’s just too much going on there (or not going on) to account for the piss-poor results on the ice. the off-season aquisitions were a legitimate step and it’s hard to fault anyone but Mason for his performance, but this team really should be better considering all the chances they’d had at the draft after not making the playoffs every year.

  5. contraryguy - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Finally, acknowledgment that the season is essentially shot. The FA pickups are injured, Mason is a head case and the CBJ still have no defense after 10 seasons. See you next October, Jackets, I’d like to say it was worth watching even on the good days but… no.

  6. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    It doesn’t matter who you have there behind the bench, this team isn’t good. And yea, Jeff Carter isn’t really living up to everyone’s expectations. Go figure.

  7. bcisleman - Jan 9, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    It may just be my imagination, but the Jackets had seemed to be playing better hockey…so the timing seems strange.

  8. jagrbomb18 - Jan 9, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Thanks again columns for taking jeff carter and his horrible contract from Philly and then giving up not only vorocek but COUTURIER ahahahahah what a waste of a franchise move that horrible team to Quebec or trade Rick Nash

  9. rabidbillsfan - Jan 9, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    @Buffalomafia
    Buffalo’s situation is alot diffrent than that of the other teams who fired thier coaches. First, the Sabres made the post-season last year on a clear turnaround orchestrated by Ruff. Sure, Washinton did too, but Ruff hasn’t had public standoffs with any of his “Star” players like Boudreu and Ovi. Anaheim, Montreal and LA were just bad, really bad to start the year, even though they made the playoffs the previous year, the coaches had to go ASAP for the team to hopefully turn it around. Also, Buffalo has had the absolute worst luck with injuries, I swear Lindy pulls his lines out of a hat, because at this point, it doesn’t matter who plays where because next game it will change. The Sabres have also been playing better as of late, Miller is regaining some form, and the team has energy for the first time since the Euro-trip. Yes, a move needs to be made, but that is a player move, not a coach move. This team has an extremely important stretch here in the next 2 weeks, if they can put together a win streak, or even point streak of 4-5 games out of their next 7, they are right back in the thick of things.

  10. pavelfitzgerald - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I disagree with Joe’s line about how Arniel deserves a lot of blame here. Looking at their roster it’s clear to see that they are about as thin as Donald Trumps hair. Howson has been an awful GM who has made awful free agent signings & even worse trades. Arniel has a proven track record as a head coach in the minors. That doesn’t always translate to the pros but before anyone starts making it out that this is all Arniel’s fault just take a look at the roster. This teams ineptness has Howson’s fingerprints all over it

  11. cbjfan75 - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    This should be the first of 4 this week in Columbus, next should be Howson, Priest, and Mason…

    • east96st - Jan 9, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      cbjfan – Absolutely 100% correct. All this is, is a band-aid on an amputation. Not a fan of Arniel, but to blame this entire disaster on him is pathetic and shows that people don’t understand who’s pulling the strings in Columbus – PRIEST!!! As long as the owner’s stockbroker is the President and has FINAL say on every move, this team is going nowhere. Simply the most poorly managed franchise in professional sports. And coming soon, this “wonderful” civic treasure will be tax payer supported!!! When those revenues from the casino start flowing to the Jackets, they will have even LESS incentive to get their house in order. After all, THEY are getting paid, WE are paying for their mistake in signing the worse arena lease in sports after the Islanders, so WHY put together a decent team? It won’t matter if no one is in the seats, they will have a steady stream of casino money coming in. And you and I will get the “privilege” of paying more taxes to pay for the roads, schools, construction, etc., because the casino money that WAS supposed to pay for those things will be flowing right into McConnell’s wallet. I’m really starting to hate this franchise and the people who run it. And I’m really starting to resent the press that refuses to report on how this is going from a hockey team to a white elephant that is proving to be a lead anchor around the necks of the city and it’s residents.

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