On the head coach search front, I can report that Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley has asked for and received permission from Chicago to talk to Blackhawks assistant coach John Torchetti about the team’s head coaching position. No word yet on when there will be an interview but I’m working on it.
Torchetti is considered one of the top two candidates for the Thrashers job, which has been open for two months after John Anderson and his staff were not retained following the season. Dudley said he would wait to talk to a candidate until his season was over. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last week.
Boston Bruins assistant Craig Ramsay is considered the other front runner. The Thrashers also interviewed Scott Arniel, who subsequently took the head coach position with Columbus, and Chicago Wolves coach Don Lever. Bill Peters, of the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate Rockford could also get an interview.
Not huge news on the search for a new coach, but I wanted you folks to know when I got something confirmed.
Also, my apologies for not updating the blog yesterday after I got contract numbers for Fredrik Pettersson, the winger from the Swedish Elite League. His two-way deal is worth $500,000 in the NHL and $65,000 in AHL. I put the numbers in our print story, but forgot to come back and update the blog. Sorry. I was covering the Braves game yesterday because some third baseman said he might retire after the season.
The Thrashers made the hiring of Barry Brennan as new Strength and Conditioning coach official Wednesday. Brennan spent the past four seasons in the same position with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team also promoted Ryan Bowness to Manager of Player Development and Hockey Administration. Bowness joined the Thrashers as a hockey operations assistant in January. According to Dudley, he will primarily work with the organization’s amateur and minor-league prospects, assist with advancing their off-ice training, nutrition and skill development.
Hope you all saw the Catching Up With … Chris Thorburn story that was online yesterday.
I will be at Braves game again today, but am still working to bring you Thrashers news in June.