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Craig Ramsay completed only his first full season as a head coach yet the Thrashers missed the playoffs.
Current Atlanta Thrashers head coach Craig Ramsay finished his first full season behind the bench in the 2010-11 season.
An NHL veteran of 1070 games as a hard nosed winger for the Buffalo Sabres in the 1970s, Ramsay has seen his fair share behind the benches of NHL teams. However, most of that comes as an assistant coach.
Ramsay was interim head coach in Buffalo during the 1986-87 season and started the 2000-01 season as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers before being fired. Ramsay took the 2010-11 Thrashers out of the gate with a promising start, only to have them fizzle in the home stretch of the season and miss the playoffs yet again.
Winnipeg management has to be looking to see if Ramsay is the right man for the young team they have. Perhaps they may look for a coach with more experience and a better rapport with the younger players.
Several former coaches are still looking for employment in the NHL, and the following names come to mind.
Guy Carbonneau was the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens from 2006-2009 and led the team to a first place birth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs during the 2007-08 season. As a former player, his understanding of the game as a defensive forward is invaluable, as he amassed a 124-83-23 record with the Canadiens, a winning percentage of .589.
Kirk Muller is the current assistant coach of the Montreal Canadiens and is reported to be the next best coach that is still an assistant coach. Would the new team take a chance on a new coach?
Bob Hartley won the Stanley Cup with Colorado in the 2000-01 season and has not been employed since being fired by the same franchise in Atlanta in 2007. His 329-226-61-34 record (.581 winning percentage) speaks volumes, but can he still be an effective coach in today's NHL?
Ted Nolan has not coached since being let go by the New York Islanders after the 2007-08 season. He won the Jack Adams Trophy in 1996-97 as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres after leading them to a 40-30-12 record. He is 147-140-19-21 in his career and could be a good fit with the younger players.
John Torchetti is the current assistant coach and won a Stanley Cup in Chicago in 2010. Could a promotion be in order? He coached the LA Kings for twelve games during the 2005-06 season, replacing Marc Crawford and the Florida Panthers for 27 games in the 2003-04 season, replacing Rick Dudley.
Craig Hartsburg currently coaches the Everett Silvertips of the WHL and has almost 500 games of NHL coaching experience with Chicago, Anaheim, and Ottawa. His 201-208-69-13 record does not speak of much success, but his experience coaching junior hockey could help his report with the younger players in Winnipeg.