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January 9, 2012 | 9:43am ET
Coach Arniel fired, Richards takes over
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets have fired head coach Scott Arniel, replacing him with assistant coach Todd Richards on an interim basis.

Arniel was named the fifth head coach in Blue Jackets history on June 8, 2010 and joined the team after spending four seasons as the head coach of the AHL's Manitoba Moose.

The Blue Jackets were contemplating a coaching change for several weeks, but it appears GM Scott Howson's hands were tied and the decision came down late Sunday evening.

Arniel, 49, becomes the seventh coach fired in the NHL this season.

Richards joined Columbus as an assistant coach on June 20, 2011 after spending the previous two seasons as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild. Named the second head coach in Wild history on June 16, 2009, he led the club to a 77-71-16 record from 2009-11. Minnesota went 38-36-8 in his first season and posted a 39-35-8 mark in 2010-11.

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