According to the Winnipeg Sun and Winnipeg Free Press, Manitoba Moose head coach Scott Arniel is expected to return next season as the bench boss. Arniel's contract whose contract expires at the end of the month has begun contract talks with the Canucks regarding an extension.
While there are currently several NHL coaching positions open, Arniel says he has no interviews scheduled at this time. Arniel had been offered an interview for the Edmonton head coaching job, but the position was filled by Pat Quinn before an interview could happen. Arniel wanted the interview after the Calder Cup playoffs.
Arniel was hired by Dave Nonis and Steve Tambellini in the summer of 2006 and has served as the Canucks top minor league affiliate's head coach since.
The Winnipeg Sun also reports that 42-year old winger and one-time Canuck Mike Keane is leaning towards returning next season as the captain instead of retiring. But the ultimate decision will come during off-season training.
It is expected he will ink an American Hockey League contract with the Moose if he does choose to return as a player. If not, we could see him ink a deal as an associate coach.
Thirty-three year old defenceman Nolan Baumgartner is also expected to be retained by the Canucks for depth and leadership on their minor league team.