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Scott Arniel, coach of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, is on the short list of candidates to become the Blue Jackets next coach, The Dispatch has learned.

Arniel, 47, spent 11 seasons in the NHL with Winnipeg, Buffalo and Boston. After his NHL career ended, he played eight more season of pro hockey, both in the AHL and the now-departed IHL.

He spent two seasons as an assistant with the Moose (2000-01, 2001-02), then spent the next three seasons as an assistant on the Sabres staff. He returned to Manitoba to take the head coaching job in 2006-07, and is 181-106-33 in four seasons with the Moose.

Arniel’s Moose are down 3-1 to Hamilton in the first round of the AHL playoffs, with Game 5 set for tonight in Winnipeg.

Arniel joins a list believed to include Guy Boucher, Kevin Dineen, Paul MacLean, Claude Noel, Brent Peterson and Jim Playfair — listed alphabetically — in the running to replace Ken Hitch*****, who was fired on Feb. 3.

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