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Arniel takes over as Blue Jackets head coach @NHLdotcom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Scott Arniel (ahr-NEEL') is the new head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

A team spokesman confirmed the hiring. Arniel is to be introduced at a news conference later Tuesday.

The 47-year-old Arniel was the head coach of Manitoba of the American Hockey League for the past four seasons. He succeeds interim coach Claude Noel, who took over on Feb. 3 when Ken Hitchcock was fired.

Arniel takes over a young team that took a step backward a year ago after making its first trip to the NHL playoffs.

Arniel was offered the job on Monday, shortly after it was turned down by Hamilton Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher. Other candidates included a third AHL coach, Kevin Dineen of Portland, and Noel.

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