COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson says he is getting closer to hiring a new coach.

Howson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he didn't want to say how soon an announcement might be made. He's been looking for a new coach since the season ended on April 9.

The Blue Jackets have interviewed American Hockey League coaches Kevin Dineen of Portland and Scott Arniel of Manitoba, and are reportedly interested in Hamilton coach Guy Boucher (GEE boo-SHAY'). Blue Jackets interim head coach Claude Noel (CLODE no-EHL') is also a candidate.

The club is looking for a replacement for Ken Hitchcock, who was fired Feb. 3.

Howson said he would make the ultimate decision on the new coach, after consulting with majority owner John P. McConnell and team president Mike Priest.