Today the Atlanta Thrashers named Craig Ramsay as their head coach. Ramsay, although he’s never been a head coach, he has over 40 years of experience as a NHL player and assistant coach. The man knows his hockey and will be a great addition to the team.
GM Rick Dudley was quoted as saying:
“When looking for a head coach, we were looking for someone who could bring players to their optimal level as quick as possible. I watched Craig do that a lot. … You see people like [young Thrashers Zach] Bogosian, [Tobias] Enstrom, [Evander] Kane, [Bryan] Little and you go down the roster — [Niclas] Bergfors — these are people whose optimal level is pretty darn good, and we think can bring them up pretty darn quick.”
Coach Ramsay told reporters that he hoped to implement an aggressive forechecking system that rolls four lines and creates four-man rushes. Ramsay hopes to use what he learnt from his role as the assistant coach on the Stanley Cup winning, 2004, Tampa Bay Lightning team. He wants to emulate the “Safety Equals Death” system that Tampa Bay coach, John Tortorella used.
Ramsay says that he wants to focus on forechecking as a priority.
“I want to forecheck first. That’s a priority. Get everyone involved. … We want our [defense] to join as many rushes as we can. … I think we have people on the blue line who can do that. My philosophy is to be as aggressive and play as up-tempo a game as we can.”
What do you think? Will Ramsay make a good coach?