Amerks have secret squirrel

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

The Rochester Americans may have a secret weapon going for them in their AHL playoff series with the Manitoba Moose.

Or should that be a squirrel?

That's what Moose boss Randy Carlyle has been calling Scott Arniel, the former Moose and Jets forward who's been living in Winnipeg and serving as a commentator on Moose radio broadcasts this season.

Arniel just so happens to be employed as an assistant coach by the Buffalo Sabres, Rochester's NHL parent club.

Thanks to the lockout, he knows the Moose about as well as anybody, something Carlyle was acutely aware of going into the series.

"He called me the secret squirrel," Arniel was saying the other day. "He talked about getting his gun out."

All kidding aside, Carlyle did talk about Arniel's unique position in his chat with reporters before the Moose left for Rochester, N.Y.

"They've had the benefit of one of Buffalo's assistant coaches watching our team play for 40-plus games," Carlyle said. "So I'm sure there's a scouting report going over there that'll be as in-depth as probably any report that you could find."

Scouting report? What scouting report?

"All I sent them was a list of all the good restaurants to go to, and the fine shopping establishments they can go to when they're here," Arniel said, tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

Arniel was also an assistant coach under Carlyle with the Moose a few years back, and he and Carlyle are good friends.

So he's going to avoid any potential conflicts by sitting out the radio broadcasts this series.

The way he sees it, he might know a little too much about what's going on behind the scenes with the Americans.

"I just don't feel comfortable with it," Arniel said. "It wouldn't be right. Certainly, I have a little bit of history with the Moose. They're something that's dear to me. (But) friends are friends, and business is business."


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