NHL insider Elliotte Friedman speaking during a segment on Sportsnet.
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Friedman reveals the top 4 candidates to be the Jets' next head coach

Published May 16, 2024 at 11:41

In a new segment on his 32 Thoughts Podcast, Elliotte Friedman talked about the Winnipeg Jets and revealed the current favorite to be the next head coach.

Elliotte Friedman has been hot on the head coaching carousel rumor mill. Last night he spoke about the Winnipeg Jets open position. His sources believe that candidates have been slimmed down to four options Craig Berube, Scott Ariel, Dean Evason, and Todd Nelson.

Winnipeg. Scott Arniel obviously. Craig Berube did a zoom interview. I think they've interviewed Dean Evason. And someone said to me ‘Look at Kevin Cheveldayoff's history in the American Hockey League' and they pointed out that when he was in Chicago one of his assistant coaches with the Wolves was Todd Nelson. Todd Nelson is still playing, Hershey has a loaded team in the American Hockey League, but someone just said to me ‘do not count out at least them talking to Todd Nelson'. I don't know which way Winnipeg's going to go here yet, I wouldn't want to handicap it, but those are some of the names I've heard

Each candidate has their positives and negatives so let's take a look at the possibility of each one being hired by the Jets.

First up will be Craig Berube who seems to be the hottest coaching name on the market right now. He comes with experience and a Stanley Cup pedigree winning with the St. Louis Blues. However, the interest from other teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils could make this a difficult and expensive hire.'

Next is Scott Arniel who most recently served as an assistant coach on Rick Bowness' staff with the Jets. This would bring familiarity and stability to a group that has been together for a while and is looking to take the next step. The biggest problem with hiring Scott Arniel would be his lack of head coaching experience at the NHL level with just one other stint as the Columbus Blue Jackets head coach.

Third is Dean Evason the former Minnesota Wild head coach. He likely is the safest option when it comes to the names listed so far. Dean Evason has shown an ability to win with the Minnesota Wild and play a brand of hockey similar to the Jets current style. His lack of playoff success with the Wild is really his biggest red flag.

Finally, we have one of the top coaches in the AHL Todd Nelson. He has been the head coach of the Hershey Bears for the last two seasons. In that time Todd Nelson has made Hershey one of the best teams in the entire AHL. Most of his head coaching experience comes at the AHL level which is more development-focused focused but he has shown a great ability to win while developing young talent which is something the Jets could desperately use.

The hiring of the next Winnipeg Jets head coach is all going to come down to what Kevin Cheveldayoff is going to find important right now. If winning and taking advantage of veteran talent is the focus then the choice will likely be Craig Berube or Dean Evason. If he is willing to take a bit more of a risk and focus on development along with wins then someone like Scott Arniel or Todd Nelson could get a chance.
May 16   |   326 answers
Friedman reveals the top 4 candidates to be the Jets' next head coach

Who will the Winnipeg Jets head coach end up being?

Dean Evason309.2 %
Craig Berube6620.2 %
Todd Nelson309.2 %
Scott Arniel20061.3 %
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