Columbus Blue Jackets Relieve Scott Arniel of His Head Coaching Duties, Name Todd Richards Interim Head Coach
Richards to serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2011-12 season
|HOWSON SPEAKS TO MEDIA||RICHARDS SPEAKS TO MEDIA|
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have relieved Head Coach Scott Arniel of his duties behind the bench and named Assistant Coach Todd Richards as the club’s interim head coach for the remainder of the 2011-12 season, club Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Scott Howson announced January 9. Richards, who joined the club as an assistant coach on June 20, 2011, will make his debut behind the Blue Jackets bench on Tuesday when the club visits the Chicago Blackhawks.
Richards, 45, compiled a 77-71-16 record as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild from 2009-11. He was named the second head coach in Wild history on June 16, 2009 and led the club to a 38-36-8 record in 2009-10 and a 39-35-8 mark in 2010-11. Prior to joining the Wild, he served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09 when the club compiled an NHL-best 53-18-11 record.
Richards spent two seasons as the head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2006-08, compiling a 98-49-13 record and leading the club to the 2008 Calder Cup Final. He also coached the PlanetUSA squad at the 2007 Rbk Hockey/AHL All-Star Classic in Toronto. He began his coaching career as an assistant with the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals from 2002-06, helping the club to a pair of West Division titles, two appearances in the Calder Cup Final and the 2004 Calder Cup championship.
The Robbindale, Minnesota native played four seasons at the University of Minnesota from 1985-89. He was a three-time WCHA Second All-Star Team pick, helping the Golden Gophers win two Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) titles in 1988 and 1989 and reach the NCAA title game in 1989. He served as the team’s captain and earned Second Team All-America honors as a senior. He is the University of Minnesota’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen with 30-128-158.
Montreal’s third pick, 33rd overall, in the 1985 Entry Draft, Richards made his professional debut in 1990 and appeared in eight career NHL games with the Hartford Whalers between 1990-92, collecting four assists and four penalty minutes. His playing career would span 13 seasons, mostly in the AHL and International Hockey League. He helped Springfield win the 1991 Calder Cup championship, was a three-time IHL All-Star and won the 2001 Turner Cup title with the Orlando Solar Bears. He wrapped up his career in 2001-02 with Servette Geneve in Switzerland.
RICHARDS COACHING CAREER
|2006-07||Wilkes-Barre/Scranton||AHL||80||51||23||6||108||.675||Lost 2nd Rd.|
Arniel was named the fifth head coach in Blue Jackets history on June 8, 2010 and compiled a 45-60-18 record in 123 games, including an 11-25-5 mark this season. He led the club to a 34-35-13 mark in 2010-11, joining the Blue Jackets after serving as the head coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose from 2006-10. He led the Moose to a 181-106-33 record and four Calder Cup Playoffs appearances.
The Blue Jackets return to action Tuesday when the club visits the Chicago Blackhawks. Game time from United Center is set for 8:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio HD begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 8 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on the Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network, including Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan in Columbus and online at BlueJackets.com.