Bowness on new Jets head coach Scott Arniel: ‘The perfect guy to take over’

Rick Bowness discusses why he thinks Scott Arniel is the right person to take over as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets and the panel also touch on Manny Malhotra being hired as the head coach the Canucks AHL affiliate Abbottsford.

The Winnipeg Jets‘ former coach has full faith in the team’s new bench boss.

Rick Bowness, who announced his retirement three weeks ago, has seen first-hand just what new Jets head coach Scott Arniel can do.

Arniel, who was officially hired as the Jets head coach on Friday, joined Bowness’s staff in 2022 as an assistant. And in those two years, he clearly made quite an impression on his old boss.

“He’s been a huge help to me over the past few years,” Bowness said during the intermission of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sportsnet. “He’s more than prepared to take over this job.”

The Jets made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, but failed to get out of Round 1. Bowness is confident Arniel can take the team to the next level.

“He’s going to continue and build what we’ve done the past couple of years,” Bowness said. “Hopefully he can have more playoff success than I did, but he’s more than ready for this job. He’s going to do a great job for the Winnipeg Jets.”

Arniel helped Bowness lead the Jets to a 98-57-9 record over their two seasons together.

He also already has experience leading the Jets’ coaching staff. Arniel filled in for Bowness three times for family and health reasons over the past two seasons. The native of Kingston, Ont. posted a 15-7-3 record over those stretches, including 10-5-2 this season.

It’s also not his first time as a head coach, as Arniel was hired as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets before the 2010-11 season and was fired midway through the 2011-12 campaign, leaving the team with a 45-60-18 record.

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