We already learned that former Rangers defenseman Ulf Samuelsson will be one of Alain Vigneault's assistant coaches, working mainly with the defensive pairings and the penalty kill. Now, News 1130 out of Vancouver is reporting that Scott Arniel, who just recently left his post as head coach of Vancouver's AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets, will be the second man to join Vigneault's staff.
Hearing Scot Arniel will end up in NY with the Rangers.
— News1130 Sports (@News1130Sports) July 1, 2013
Arniel spent three years as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres and also spent one-and-a-half seasons as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. So he has plenty of experience coaching at the NHL level in all sorts of different roles and situations. Vigneault said that he wanted to bring in assistants with "experience" and Arniel certainly fits that mold.
Concerning, though, is that specific stint with the Blue Jackets. Derick Brassard's failure in Columbus is often associated with Arniel. Arniel and Brassard didn't see eye-to-eye and Arniel limited Brassard's ice-time or put him in the press box. After making Brassard a healthy scratch for the 7th time in 10 games, Brassard's agent unleashed this statement:
"While I have tremendous respect for (general manager) Scott Howson and the rest of Columbus' management team, the situation regarding Derick Brassard has become untenable. The coach has a history of burying players and using them as scapegoats to mask his own lack of success on the ice. Derick has been singled out, almost from the very beginning of the season, to be the fall guy in case things don't go well. The Columbus organization cares about Derick and has been good to him, but at some point, one has to say, enough is enough."
Now, there's plenty of reason to be cynical as a Rangers fan, but Sather, Vigneault, and the rest of management is not so ignorant that this wasn't addressed at some point before giving Arniel the job. Brassard broke out of his shell once he got a fresh start in New York and it would be pretty silly to bring back demons of the past if there were any indications it would be problematic. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how Brassard, Arniel, and Vigneault all handle inevitable questions concerning the past once training camp gets underway.
Follow Me On Twitter: @Herman_NYRBlog
Email Me: AdamNYRBlog@gmail.com