After an admirable two-year tenure from longtime head coach Rick Bowness, the Winnipeg Jets have found their new team leader. The Jets are promoting associate and former Washington Capitals coach Scott Arniel to the head position, per Darren Dreger. Winnipeg conducted interviews with top candidates. Yet, Arniel was considered the frontrunner. He is well-respected by Jets players and now has an NHL head coaching opportunity.

Scott Arniel joined the Jets as an associate coach in June of 2022. Before that, he was an assistant coach with the Capitals for four seasons. Arniel's leadership ability and playing experience should bode well for a Jets team on a quest to make a deeper Stanley Cup Playoff run.

Ironically, the Jets drafted Arniel in the second round of the 1981 NHL Draft. He played his first five seasons with Winnipeg and returned for another stint during the 1990-91 season. The former left winger played 730 games split between the Jets, the Buffalo Sabres, and the Boston Bruins, recording 338 points and 599 penalty minutes.

Arniel gained his first coaching experience as a player/assistant coach with the Houston Aeros in 1995-96. After retiring as a player in 2000, he served as an assistant coach for Manitoba for the 2001-01 and 2001-02 seasons. Ariel proceeded to obtain a range of coaching positions highlighted by stints with the Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Wolves, and New York Rangers.

One of Arniel's most notable experiences was helping the Rangers to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. In addition, he was part of two Eastern Conference Finals: one with the Sabres in 2004 and one with New York in 2005.

Scott Arniel's wealth of experience and admiration from Jets players should help him aid the team to maintain great success.

Jets look to continue ascending with leadership change

Winnipeg finished the 2023-24 regular season with 110 points, which ranked them second in the Central Division standings. The Jets earned a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and faced a tough Colorado Avalanche team in the first round.

Unfortunately, the Jets lost the series 4-1, but they have a bright outlook for the future. One of the biggest headlines surrounding the club afterward was the departure of longtime NHL coach Rick Bowness.

Bowness retired after 40 years of coaching, two of which came with the Jets. The 69-year-old delivered a heartfelt message upon his exit.

“I know what I'm going to do. I know what I want to do, but that will come up. This game has given us a tremendous lifestyle that we never could have dreamed of as kids. We still love it, still have the passion for it. Listen, as I tell the players, every day in this league is a blessing. We're treated so well. We're in the best hockey league in the world. Never, ever, ever take a day for granted in this league. I never have and I never will. I just love the game. It's been my life,” Bowness said, per

Rick Bowness did a phenomenal job with the Jets during his last two years in the league. His efforts have helped them prepare for an exciting new era, as Scott Arniel takes the reigns.