The Vancouver Canucks, NHL affiliate of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, announced they have agreed to a contract extension with Moose head coach Scott Arniel.
Arniel now enters his fourth season as head coach of the Moose after guiding the team to their most successful season in franchise history. In 2008-09, the Moose set a number franchise records including the most wins in the regular season (50) and the most road wins (25), while tying the franchise mark for the most home wins in one season (25). The Moose finished first overall in the American Hockey League for the first time ever with a record of 50-23-1-6 for 107 points. Arniel himself was subsequently named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the league’s outstanding coach for 2008-09.
The Moose continued their success in the Calder Cup playoffs by capturing the North Division title with series victories over Toronto and Grand Rapids, as well as their first-ever Western Conference crown and a berth in the Calder Cup Finals after a series win over the Houston Aeros.
In three seasons under Arniel, the Moose have won over 45 games each season and compiled a record of 141-73-8-18 in 240 games and earned two North Division regular season titles (2006-07 & 2008-09). In each of the past two seasons, the Moose have used over 50 different players in their line-up, including 51 last season – the second-most of any team in the AHL – as well as 14 players who have seen action in the National Hockey League at some point in their careers.
Arniel has an extensive history with the Moose as both a player and coach prior to re-joining the team in 2006. He joined the Moose in their inaugural season in 1996-97 in the International Hockey League and spent three seasons with the franchise as a player (1996-99), including the final two as team captain. In 222 games with the Moose as a player, Arniel finished with 67 goals and 104 assists for 171 points and 233 penalty minutes. His best season with the Moose was in 1997-98 when he scored 28 goals and 70 points in 79 games.
Upon his retirement in 1999, Arniel remained with the Moose as an assistant coach from 2000 to 2002. During that span, the Moose compiled an overall record of 78-64-7-13. Arniel then became an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres prior to returning to Manitoba as the Moose’s bench boss.
Overall, Arniel played in 730 games in the NHL with Winnipeg, Buffalo, and Boston from 1981-1992. He scored 149 goals and 189 assists for 338 points and 599 penalty minutes.