After some speculation about it late last night, the Atlanta Thrashers made it official this afternoon hiring former Bruins assistant coach Craig Ramsay to be the new head coach of the team. Ramsay takes the reigns over from John Anderson who was fired at the end of last season. As for what Ramsay wants to do with the Thrashers, he had some words about that at today’s introduction.
Ramsay’s philosophy is “Forecheck First” Always attack, involve the D, get D scoring. Wants to be as uptempo as possible.
That’s an interesting philosophy to want to adapt for a team that, at the moment, is lacking any real scoring punch or dynamic forwards and just added a not-exactly-fast Dustin Byfuglien to the lineup. If he’s preaching a team attack philosophy, however, an army of relative unknowns working together can be as overwhelming as anything. That said, it’d still be nice for the Thrashers to add some pieces to that puzzle. They’ll be able to do that if they wish as the Thrashers are swimming in cap space.
General manager Rick Dudley will certainly have his work cut out for him to get the Thrashers in a place where they can make the playoffs, but with $26 million of cap space, a lot of things can happen, it just needs to be done smartly. Getting some assistance for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Niclas Bergfors, Nikolai Antropov and Byfuglien to make sure those three guys aren’t your first scoring line would be awfully nice. That is unless the Thrashers want to be picking first at the draft in 2011.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: