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ANALYSIS: Finding replacement for retired coach a process for Winnipeg Jets

When Rick Bowness retired from coaching last week, the Winnipeg Jets organization was very careful to ensure his announcement stood alone, and wasn’t overshadowed by any discussions at the same time about his possible replacement.

Now, over a week later, the search for the team’s new head coach is ultimately in full swing, and the next step in the process — and it’s important to note, the next few weeks will be just that, a process — has now begun in ardent fashion.

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Just as they did just two short years ago prior to Bowness being hired, the Jets will provide their due diligence into their search, anointing no one but considering many, including one of their own.

Yes, Scott Arniel, the team’s associate coach the past two seasons, a Winnipeg resident and former Jets player, has long been considered the heir apparent and could very well have the inside track on the job, especially since the club performed so well under his guidance when Bowness took time away from the team twice during his tenure.

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But before the fifth head coach in franchise history is named, the team wants to explore all of its options, which is understandably prudent in today’s corporate landscape.

Winnipeg Jets associate coach Scott Arniel. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade

And as the resume shopping unfolds, there’s a bountiful list of candidates, from those with their names on the Stanley Cup like Craig Berube and Claude Julien, to others like Sheldon Keefe, Todd McLellan, Dean Evason, and Dave Hakstol, all of whom coached in the league this past season.

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Ideally, the Jets would like this process completed, and an announcement to happen before month’s end, thereby allowing the new coach time to be consulted on possible transactions prior to the amateur draft and leading up to July 1 free agency.

But at this point, there is no rush and the next two weeks will allow for the process to unfold and the naming of Rick Bowness’ replacement not to be overshadowed by haste.

Click to play video: 'Jets head coach Rick Bowness calls it quits after 38-season NHL career'

Jets head coach Rick Bowness calls it quits after 38-season NHL career

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