Former Columbus head coach Scott Arniel will join Ulf Samuelsson as assistants on Alain Vigneault’s Rangers coaching staff, further strengthening the connection of former Blue Jackets in New York.
Arniel, 50, coached current Rangers Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and Anton Stralman during his one-and-a-half year ride in Columbus from 2010-11 to the middle of the 2011-12 season. Rangers defenseman John Moore also was in the Jackets’ organization during his tenure.
Arniel and Vigneault know each other well: Arniel bookended his tenure in Columbus with stints coaching the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate – first the Manitoba Moose, then the Chicago Wolves – while Vigneault coached the NHL club.
Prior to Manitoba, the retired former NHL forward (Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins) served as an assistant for three seasons on Lindy Ruff’s staff in Buffalo. Part of his duties included running the Sabres’ power play.
The Daily News reported on Sunday that Vigneault’s former Vancouver assistant, Newell Brown, had emerged as the favorite to coach the Rangers’ power play. But that is less likely now, though Blueshirts GM Glen Sather did mention that Vigneault may hire up to three assistants, including one who would watch games from “the eyebrow,” or the press-box bird’s eye view.
Samuelsson attended Day Two of the Rangers’ annual, week-long development camp at their Greenburgh training facility on Tuesday. But he was not available to speak to the media because the organization has not announced his hiring officially, even though he wore a Rangers team jacket while evaluating practice.
Though the Rangers didn’t have a pick higher than their three, third-round selections in Sunday’s NHL draft, left wing Anthony Duclair, 17 – New York’s second pick chosen at No. 75 – showed impressive skating ability and shiftiness facing up against other top prospects and players on tryouts. One player on a tryout, diminutive right wing Sergey
Tolchinsky, 18, was buzzing around the ice, the Russian winger doing his best to get noticed by the franchise’s brass. “That little guy’s work ethic is scary,” Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark said. “He’s smart, and he’s got good sense and energy.”