Scott Arniel is the fourth head coach in Winnipeg Jets 2.0 history and takes over a team that won 50 games last season for the second time since the team returned to the Manitoba capital.


Arniel was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the second round of the 1981 NHL Draft and played 406 regular season games for the club from 1981-86 and 1990-91. He came back to Winnipeg to close out his playing career with the Manitoba Moose from 1996-98.

Arniel began his full-time coaching career with the Moose as an assistant to Randy Carlyle in 2000-01 and then to Stan Smyl in 2001-02. He then headed to Buffalo to be an assistant coach with the Sabres when Lindy Ruff was the bench boss from 2002-06. Once again, Arniel was drawn back to Winnipeg in 2006, this time as the head coach of the Manitoba Moose, and held the position until 2010 - highlighted by a trip to the Calder Cup Final in 2008. He received his first NHL head coaching job with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010. After one more season in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves in 2012-13, Arniel went back to the NHL, serving as an associate coach with the Rangers from 2013-18 and an assistant coach in Washington from 2018-22.

Arniel then joined the Jets again as an associate to Rick Bowness for two seasons before replacing Bowness who retired in May.


As mentioned above, Arniel has coached with some of the NHL’s most experienced coaches in Bowness, Ruff and Peter Laviolette. Bowness had a huge impact on the 61-year-old Arniel for both his playing and coaching career.

“I came in here in '81 as a player and Rick was in the organization and I got to know him then. And then in '83 he came in as an assistant with Barry Long. Had him again in Boston as my head coach. I came back here with the Moose to get into my coaching career, and he was with Vancouver, so there was that connection we had with them. We've always kept in touch,” said Arniel.

“He's been a source for me, whether it was when I was applying for jobs or whether I was, even just coaching, when he was in Tampa, I was in New York, there was a lot of rivalry then, but we'd always talk about different things - the league, players, all that. He was a great sounding board for me. He had so much experience, he's done so much in his career, especially at the coaching level, that he's an easy sounding board for me to go to often. And it grew a great friendship, not only being a coach of mine but also being a mentor as a coach.”


The Jets have taken steps forward in each of the past two seasons since missing the playoffs in 2021-22. They got back to the postseason in 2023, and had an impressive run in the 2023-24 regular season finishing fourth in the league standings. Along the way, the Jets set a franchise record for most consecutive games allowing three goals or less, which helped them win the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed in the NHL.

The next step will be getting over the hump in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where the Jets have been eliminated in the first round in each of the past two seasons. The Central Division and Western Conference won’t get any easier, but Arniel, his staff, and the players will take that challenge head on when training camp begins in the fall.