True North Sports + Entertainment has announced its latest hires for the open coaching positions within its two clubs, the Winnipeg Jets and the Manitoba Moose.
Three weeks back, the Jets officially announced the hiring of head coach Rick Bowness, who was quick to point out that he would retain Wade Flaherty as the team’s goaltending coach. He did not specify if video coach Matt Prefontaine’s contract would be safe, but according to the team’s latest update, he survived the cut.
Fellow assistants Jamie Kompon and Charlie Huddie were let go – to which Paul Maurice has added Kompon to his staff in Florida – while assistant-turned interim head coach Dave Lowry was also let go from his perch with the Jets.
Much like that of Flaherty, Bowness announced the hiring of another player-turned-coach to which he had already had the privilege of coaching in his past.
“We’re fortunate to have Scott Arniel sign on with us,” Bowness told media at Canada Life Centre in early-July. “Scotty will come in as the associate coach. I’ve known Scotty, I’ve played with Scotty a few years ago. Coached him, coached him here and coached him in Boston. He and I have kept a good rapport over the years. We have Scotty on board now. We’ve already touched base with a few more people. There are a lot of good coaches out there looking for work. It goes to getting the right people and working with good people. We’ll put the right people in place here.”
Those ‘right people’ are Marty Johnston and Brad Lauer.
With Flaherty remaining as goaltending coach, Prefontaine remaining as video coach and Arniel joining as the associate coach, Johnston and Lauer will serve Bowness as his assistants for the coming season.
Alongside the update from the Jets, True North also announced that former captain Nolan Baumgartner will also be joining the Moose as an assistant coach for the 2022-23 season, while Alex Matheson will serve as the team’s video coach. They will join head coach Mark Morrison and assistant Eric Dubois to round out the staff.
Staff profiles courtesy of True North:
Lauer, 55, served as the head coach for the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings for the past four seasons, winning the WHL Championship in 2021-22. The Humboldt, Sask. native previously served as an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning (2016-18), Anaheim Ducks (2012-15), and Ottawa Senators (2009-11). Lauer also worked as an assistant coach in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch (2011-12) and Milwaukee Admirals (2007-09) and his first coaching experience was as an assistant coach for the Kootenay Ice (2002-07).
Johnston, 43, served as an assistant coach for the Manitoba Moose for the past five seasons. The Gloucester, Ont. native previously served as the head coach of Carleton University Ravens men’s hockey program for seven seasons and coached them to a 129-49-12 record.
Baumgartner, 46, served as an assistant coach for the Vancouver Canucks for the past five seasons following five seasons as an assistant coach in the AHL for the Chicago Wolves and the Utica Comets. He also played for six AHL teams, highlighted by parts of seven seasons with the Manitoba Moose. He ranks second all-time on the Moose in assists (144), third in games played (385), and sixth in points (185).
Matheson, 31, served as the video coach for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees for the past three seasons. The Ottawa, Ont. native also worked as the assistant general manager for the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians in 2021-22. He also previously worked four seasons as the video coach for the CCHL’s Nepean Raiders (2015-19) and for Canada at the national level in 2021.
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