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Blue Jackets Clean House

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that former interim head coach Claude Noel and assistants Gary Agnew and Gord Murphy as well as strength and conditioning coach Barry Brennan will not return behind Columbus’ bench in 2010-2011.

The changes come one week after the Blue Jackets named Scott Arniel head coach. With the firings, Arniel is given the opportunity to bring in his own assistants.

It is likely that Arneil will have two assistants opposed to the three that former coach Ken Hitchcock had under him. One of those rumored to be on Arniel’s short list is Brad Berry, who coached as an assistant under Arniel in Manitoba before stepping down two years ago for family matters.

Berry played 241 NHL games with Winnipeg, Minnesota and Dallas and was a teammate of Arniel’s in Winnipeg.

Columbus has already hired Kevin Collins to replace Brennan as the strength and conditioning coach. Collins previously held the same position for the Portland Pirates of the AHL.

It is also rumored that Noel is candidate for the same Manitoba Moose head coaching job vacated by Arniel last week.

Stay tuned, more will be posted as it becomes clear who Arniel will choose for his staff.

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