Arniel possible candidate

KEN WIEBE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Steve Tambellini believes the Edmonton Oilers need a new voice and a new start, but many are speculating that he's going to dip into his past when looking for the man to replace Craig MacTavish.

While most pundits assume that means either Pat Quinn (who gave Tambellini his first job with the Vancouver Canucks) or Marc Crawford (a former Stanley Cup winner who also coached the Canucks) would be the likely successor, don't rule out Manitoba Moose head coach Scott Arniel to at least get an interview and possibly be a dark-horse candidate.

Arniel has said for a long time that he's interested but in no rush to get back to the NHL as a head coach and that one of the most important factors is to be aligned with a general manager that he's familiar and comfortable with.

Since Tambellini was the Canucks assistant general manager during Arniel's first two seasons as Moose head coach, so there is certainly some familiarity there.

Arniel is viewed by many in the hockey world as a bright up-and-comer in the coaching ranks and based on some of the more recent hiring practices that saw guys like Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals, John Anderson of the Atlanta Thrashers, Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders and Cory Clouston of the Ottawa Senators get promoted from the minors, there is a chance he could be the next guy to move up the ladder.

Arniel, who recently was named AHL coach of the year, has guided the Moose to a 141-73-8-18 record during his three seasons as bench boss.

The Oilers don't really have a candidate-in-waiting, since they fired Jeff Truitt from his post with the Springfield Falcons during the AHL season.


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