Yesterday, the remainder of Alain Vigneault's staff was officially announced with the unveiling of Scott Arniel as the new Associate Coach (aka second in command) along with Ulf Samuelsson & Daniel Lacroix being named as Assistant Coaches.
Arniel will be in charge of the forwards and the power play, while Samuelsson will oversee the defense and penalty kill. Lacroix will serve as Vigneault's eye in the sky.
One issue I observed lots of Rangers fans discussing after this announcement was the past friction between Arniel and Derick Brassard from their Columbus days. In fact it got so tense that back in 2011, Brassard's agent actually released a statement criticizing Arniel for making his client the scapegoat for the Blue Jackets' struggles.
During a Rangers live chat yesterday, Jim Cerny said Brassard is ready to put the past behind him…
"I spoke to Brassard about his relationship with Arniel and he admitted it was rocky at times…but he respects Arniel, believes he himself has grown up, and is confident that this will be a solid addition to the team."
…while I'm a big fan of the Samuelsson and Lacroix hirings, bringing Arniel on board still has me scratching my head.
…last season Brassard was the perfect example of a player who needed a change of scenery. So it is absolutely baffling to me why the Rangers would want to put him back into that negative scenery. I don't care what Brassard says about Arniel being a solid addition, if you fed him a few shots of peach schnapps I guarantee you he'd admit his preference for another associate coach.
…and beyond the issues with Brassard, there are five other Rangers (Nash, Dorsett, Moore, Stralman and Johnson) who failed to succeed while playing under Arniel in Columbus before he was fired after a 45-60-18 combined record. So it's not like he's had a productive history with the former Blue Jacket players on this team.
…having said all that, Arniel is very close to AV from their time together in the Canucks organization, so if having him on the bench makes Torts' replacement comfortable and ultimately translates into the Rangers being a better team then I guess I have to support it.
Speaking of Brassard, MSG Networks has announced that he'll be showcased in this year's season of "Beginnings." Here's a pic of Brassard in his basement…
…seriously? What is up with the Crosby jersey? As soon as he became a member of the Rangers he should have been forced to destroy that thing.