Ramsay, coaches wait to hear their future

Craig Ramsay sits and waits.

The Thrashers head coach still doesn’t know if he will be joining his team when it relocates to Winnipeg next season. Other members of the organization have already been told not to pack their bags.

Ramsay finally spoke to a representative of the Winnipeg franchise Thursday evening – 10 days after the deal was announced that the Atlanta Spirit would sell the Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment.

Ramsay spoke to new Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, whose hiring was announced Wednesday. Thrashers GM Rick Dudley was told Sunday he would not be retained before the sale is approved later this month and the team relocated to Manitoba.

“It’s very unnerving not knowing what the future holds,” Ramsay told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday.

Ramsay said he was told by Cheveldayoff that a decision has not been made about the coaching staff. The still unnamed Winnipeg organization would meet throughout the weekend before making a final decision, he was told. Associate coach John Torchetti, assistant coach Mike Stothers and video coach Tony Borgford also wait to hear their future.

Several members of the Thrashers support staff have already been told they will not have positions in Winnipeg – including the equipment managers, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coach. None were considered for positions despite their tenure with the Thrashers. Head equipment manager Bobby Stewart spent all 12 years with the Thrashers and 26 years with the Flames organization in Atlanta and Calgary.

The Thrashers staff was informed of Winnipeg’s decision on Monday by Craig Heisinger, who was named senior vice president and assistant general manager. Heisinger was in Atlanta Monday, two days before being named to his new position, to inventory equipment and other physical assets of the sale.

“It’s awkward,” Ramsay said. “We are hockey people, but we are also people. There are other jobs. … I just asked him to [make a decision] expeditiously.”

Several open positions in hockey, both at the NHL and AHL level, have been filled since the sale and relocation of the Thrashers became imminent.

Ramsay became the fifth head coach in Thrashers history before last season. He concluded his first full season as an NHL head coach with the disappointment of missing the playoffs but was looking forward to continued work in the organization. He may not get that chance.

“I didn’t think it would end like this,” said Ramsay, a long-time assistant who left Boston after the three previous seasons. “I can’t look into the future. I saw what I thought was a good opportunity to work with someone I had known for years (in Dudley). I thought we could improve the team. I’m sorry we didn’t get there.”

Thrashers strength and conditioning coach Barry Brennan said he was told that his position at the NHL level would be filled by the coach who currently holds that position with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. According to the team’s website, Lee Stubbs is listed as Assistant Medical Trainer/Strength and Conditioning for the Moose, which is also owned by True North and play in Winnipeg’s MTS Centre.

“I’m disappointed I won’t be making the transition, but I respect the fact they are being loyal to their guy,” Brennan said.

Brennan has been in Atlanta the past week and has begun work with current players. He worked with Eric Boulton and Chris Thorburn Friday.

“They have to be prepared to play in Winnipeg and I’m happy to help them for as long as I’m here,” Brennan said.

Thrashers vice president and assistant general manager Larry Simmons has yet to be informed of his future. President Don Waddell said last week he will not be a part of the Winnipeg franchise.

On a personal note: In case you folks thought I fell off the face of the earth, I was on vacation the past week and a half. I’m back and will stay on top of any other developments including the Board of Govenors meeting on June 21.

165 comments Add your comment


June 10th, 2011
1:06 pm

Well congratulations Atlanta Spirit. Hope this helps move you to an even hotter spot in hell someday.

[...] Journal Constitution:  Thrashers coaches waiting to hear fate.  Waiting is never easy.  Especially when you are expecting bad [...]

R. Stroz

June 10th, 2011
1:09 pm

GOLD and Welcome Back


June 10th, 2011
1:10 pm

What about this group that made a $500m deal for all 3 Atlanta spirit properties? Is it too late to be considered as a local buyer for the Thrashers?


June 10th, 2011
1:17 pm

Welcome back! Thank you for updates. Please keep a blog and bring some news about ex-Thrashers.


June 10th, 2011
1:34 pm

I hope Ramsey gets a fair shake with the team, being from Winnipeg this would be very important for continuity for the guys coming over, plus I can’t stand Claude Noel. By the way the moose guys were all trained by Heisinger once considered to be the best Equipment manager in the business so you know that those guys from Atlanta would be let go. Chris great job on the reporting of all this kaos as well you were great on H&L back in Winnipeg, Maybe you join the thrashers and come to Winnipeg, we would love to have you in Canada. Trust me Chris nothing against Atlanta I respect every hockey fan there but writing in a hockey mad market would be a blast don’t you think?

Stan Drulia

June 10th, 2011
1:40 pm

Seems like a fitting end to this whole story. I wish all the laid-off employees the best of luck in finding a new job in hockey and thank you for a great 12 year run here in Atlanta. You are probably a lot better off anywhere that isn’t Winnipeg.

[...] GazetteAtlanta Thrashers Captain Andrew Ladd Joins In Chorus Calling Out OwnersSB NationAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Fox News -Bleacher Reportall 363 news [...]


June 10th, 2011
2:04 pm

Relax Stan… this is all business, nothing to do with people. When ever one company takes over the business of another, people lose thier jobs. Happens everyday.

[...] Post By Google News Click Here For The Entire Article June 10th, 2011 | Category: [...]


June 10th, 2011
2:05 pm

Source: $500 M Spirit Bid ‘Another Crazy Rumor’


Atlanta Flames Fan

June 10th, 2011
2:09 pm

On the $500M offer, on WSBTV.com, Zach Klein’s source says that this is a “totally false rumor”.

However, his source was from ASG, an organization whose business philosophy mandates lying at every opportunity. I would like to hear from Global Wellington Financial Corp. and Oriana Capital Partners.

Theron Sapp

June 10th, 2011
2:11 pm

Sounds like a classy bunch up there. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss….

ATL Observer

June 10th, 2011
2:13 pm

Amazing how many ‘crazy rumors’ add up round here…….also amazing that this ‘crazy rumor’ came out now and didn’t even play up the Thrashers angle.

‘Crazy rumors’ are amazing.


June 10th, 2011
2:16 pm

The last 3 coaches of the Manitoba Moose have all gone on to coach in the NHL. So historically speaking there is a very good chance that the current Moose coach, Claude Noel, who in his own right is expected to be in the NHL one day, will be kept on. No promises, but a good chance.

East Point Bob

June 10th, 2011
2:19 pm

I hope you were in Winipeg looking for a house, You are not welcome in Atlanta after your selling out the team for your boss ASG !


June 10th, 2011
2:26 pm

Zach Klein claims his source is someone close to ASG. Of course ASG is going to deny this. I highly doubt the USA Today would print this if it were untrue, especially with Kevin Allen working there.


June 10th, 2011
2:37 pm

Well how about the offer reported in USAToday from the minority group to buy the Thrashers, Hawks and Philips rights that the NHL nor ASG told anyone about and stated that there was no offers to keep the Thrashers in ATL? What is their comment on that? Just want to get hockey in Winnepeg asap to start the season and screw any offers that might keep the team in ATL? Winnepeg has waited this long one more year would not have hurt them. I guess it seems that it iwas kept quiet and I feel like I was lied to and misled and would like to hear comments from the ones who have the power and the money and made the decisions and the decision to not take the offer seriously. Was it because they are racists in the NHL? Was it because they did not take the offer seriously? $500,000,000 seems serious to me and it is still on the table…..! What’s up NHL? Timeout to consider at least if not OK but why?


June 10th, 2011
2:42 pm

BTW I will not listen to ANYTHING ASG says because they LIED for years about even TRYING to sell the team! They want their cash and they want it now and anything that would slow down that process they would definately dismiss as RUMOR!….I think they just LIED again when they said that the offer was a RUMOR….Time will tell if they are STILL doing the same thing AGAIN…..LIEING….I hope they do sell the Hawks. I for one will NEVER attend ANY event at Philips. BOYCOTT Philips to get ASG OUT!

Red Light

June 10th, 2011
2:51 pm


June 10th, 2011
3:03 pm

So if you were selling your car and someone offered $20,000 for it, and you accepted it, yet the next day someone came buy and offered $30,000…. would you reneg on the original buyer that you had an agreement with?

Its too late in the game for any mythical deal to get done that would save the Thrashers.


June 10th, 2011
3:14 pm

Welcome back Chris…. I was worried about ya!!
Whom do you think is going to win the cup?
Come up to iceforum, and watch some kids play hockey!!


June 10th, 2011
3:18 pm

Wouldn’t be surprised if they gave the job to Noel. The Moose had a very good track record in selecting and developing coaches (their last three have all gone onto head coaching in the NHL with one winning the stanley cup and another in the cup finals right now) so I think they would be pretty comfortable going that route.

ASG are liars

June 10th, 2011
3:20 pm

Bottom line here is the only thing ASG ever wanted was the Hawks. They took the Thrashers because it was a package deal with the arena rights. Their plan from the beginning was to unload the Thrashers at the first oppurtunity. Then the idiots get into a squabble with the guy they selected to be the NBA governor for the Hawks. (Over something he turned out to be right about) Started a lawsuit to force him out and held up their ability to even sell the team with a clear title to any prospective buyer for 5 years while they fought in the court.

Once they finally have a free and clear title they had already turned away and turned off any prospective buyers that wanted to keep the team local. No one in there right minds would want to enter into partnership with this group of smucks. Not only that, they wouldn’t want to buy a team and have to deal with them on a lease to play in their building.

The only way anyone would put their money in the Thrashers is if they got the Hawks, and arena rights at the same time. Putting your money into a partnership with these clowns will only insure that you lose large sums of money.

Here we are now. The ASG have what they wanted all along and to hell with anyone that doesn’t like it. They will continue to run the Hawks like the rank amateurs they’ve proven to be, and the Hawks will continue to be a decent team.

I myself will make sure I never spend a dime on anything these idiots have their money invested in, and hope that everyone else in Atlanta does the same until we force them to sale the Hawks at 1/3 of their initial investment. Everyone of them should be left completely broke, because that’s exactly how they’ve left half of Atlanta’s professional sports landscape.

Alan R.

June 10th, 2011
3:32 pm

“Reality” – Technically, the door is open to any and all offers until the Board of Governors vote to approve TNSE as owners and relocate the team commences.

icy nards

June 10th, 2011
3:34 pm

@Alan R.

June 10th, 2011
3:49 pm

“Technically” …they’ll build a Vatican in Vegas before the BOG denies the approval of TNSE as owners.
13,000 SEASON tickets sold in 2 minutes? Please. The BOG couldn’t be more happy to see this team go North.

Alan R.

June 10th, 2011
3:56 pm

You obviously missed the point.

Also, your car analogy makes absolutely no sense when it relates to the sale of a sports franchise.

Go play in traffic.

Jerry Landfill

June 10th, 2011
4:00 pm

Well, now that the league has played the new city/owners for suckers, we will see how they feel in 5 years.

ATL Observer

June 10th, 2011
4:08 pm

@Reality, a) the sale is technically not final, though the agreement in principle is, b) even if it is, guess what? Some of us still care! Based on your logic, if your mother dies, no point in investigating it, she’s dead already! Investigating it won’t bring her back to life so let’s all do nothing about it!

Bottom line is, a lot of Atlanta residents feel very much lied to by both the ASG and NHL and would like full disclosure on how all of this went down.


June 10th, 2011
4:15 pm

From the wsb story:
When asked if ASG planned on selling the Hawks and Philips Arena outright, Michael Gearon, ASG co-owner, told Klein on May 31. “No. I have no interest in selling my ownership.”

Really? Then why did you grant exclusive negotiating rights for the Hawks to the owner from San Diego? That’s the thing about lying every time you open your mouth. Sooner or later you lose track of them.


June 10th, 2011
4:20 pm

Welcome back..regardless of the news…Atlanta fans truly got screwed not only by NHL but the “owners” calling themselves ASG. True,the only desire they ever had was Hawks and Philips..thus the hockey folks became extra baggage and were treated to this status by Waddell the baggage handler of choice by the whole eleven years of non-hockey owners. They not only lacked passion for the sport(so truly important as any Thrasher fan realizes) but they lacked integrity. The Ted Turner spawned ASG, loaded with his relatives and cronies, gave our locale the shaft. Waddell merely took their money and kept “court” over the liefeless leadership. It will take a long time to get over this community “hit”. Add Bettman to the total mix as he kept more than his word with Phoenix and then kept much less of any word with our community and fans. Calculate our support with the three years of a down-economy and the last three years won/loss records.it wasn’t the fans!!!


June 10th, 2011
4:21 pm

Good on you Rich Peverley. That was awesome!

Stan Drulia

June 10th, 2011
4:30 pm

2mins – You’re right, business is business – that makes it all ok. Thanks for setting me straight you canadian rube.

Anyone hear any rumors about a minor league team pouncing on the Atlanta fanbase???? Man, if I had the money to do it I would surely thing that this market would totally devour an AHL or ECHL team.

Stan Drulia

June 10th, 2011
4:31 pm

2mins – I guess that makes it all ok.. Thanks for straight you canadian rube.

Time Out

June 10th, 2011
4:36 pm

Reality: BOG could deny the request. You need a reality check, fool.


June 10th, 2011
4:37 pm


Vitamin Z

June 10th, 2011
4:42 pm

They lied!? You don’t say.

Time Out

June 10th, 2011
4:42 pm


Time Out

June 10th, 2011
4:51 pm

Come home to some Home Cookin and a warm house unlike the freezing blizzards of the wasteland and trash dump


June 10th, 2011
4:54 pm


If the NHL BoG says NO to TNSE, I will fly down and buy the Thrashers myself and keep them in Atlanta forever.

Since I’m 100 % sure they will be saying YES, I won’t be buying airline tickets.


June 10th, 2011
4:55 pm

Folks, don’t ever, EVER, set foot it Philips again….these ASG criminals need to bleed and suffer. Hopefully, in about 5 years….if Betteman is no longer the weasle commissioner, we will have another NHL team. This time up in Gwinnett


June 10th, 2011
4:57 pm

I feel especially upset that they would not take Bobby Stewart to Winnepeg considering how long he has been in the NHL. His wife teaches at my children’s school and we have met Bobby on several occasions at the school – a wonderful person who was always available to discuss all things hockey. At least they will not have to suffer through those ungodly winters and hopefully we get to keep an awesome teacher. Also why would you not want to keep a few folks around that already know the players – seems to me if you ditch everyone you are just asking for another “x” number of years’ learning curve.

Matt from MN

June 10th, 2011
5:07 pm

“Weiner-peg” wants to make a clean sweep and wipe out the years of bad Thrashers karma. Can’t say that I blame them for that.

Burn in Hell, ASG.

Responsible Journalist

June 10th, 2011
5:30 pm

I feel terrible for Dudley and the rest of the staff who are casualties in this along with the fans. The ASG and NHL doesn’t care at all that lives are affected by this. We never had more than one good season of hockey, last season was a glimmer of hope..it’s just not fair. The BOG isn’t gonna veto this, the troll Betteman was on tv, this isn’t Arizona, we aren’t having our team saved, they made zero effort for Atlanta and it was already in the works for a long time. the BOG meeting is a formality, we lost.

Talk about it

June 10th, 2011
5:39 pm

What about Kamal and the TV crew? Are they out too?


June 10th, 2011
5:50 pm

After many years of suffering through the Waddell version of water boarding, I wish nothing but the best for the franchise in Manitoba.


June 10th, 2011
6:00 pm

This is obviously a hot topic first, TNSE has a organization in place so you know that they are going to be loyal to their people. Second, I to like Rick Dudley and Graig Ramsey, but TSNE owes them nothing so while I feel sorry for both that is the nature of the business. Thirdly reading the SB nation blog and them pushing the Dan Snyder number retirement thing, while I do believe that no player should ever where that number out of respect for Dan Snyder and his family, this should be done in Winnipeg buy the ASG group or the Thrasher fan club becuase this means more to the great fans of Atlanta. I hope the Atlanta Thrasher fans get a hold of TNSE and ask if this is possible, because unlike ASG these guys are great guys to deal with and they don’t lie they would definitely listen to you.


June 10th, 2011
6:16 pm

Don’t give a rat’s tail about the Thrashers anymore….they’re no longer “my” team. Burn in hell ASG and Betteman…may the rest of your miserable lives be filled with pain and regret!

In about a year or so, we need to start a grass roots movement to bring hockey back, this time the right way in Gwinnett

clark kent

June 10th, 2011
6:24 pm

Awww poor Chrissy, I bet you thought you didn’t have to report on the Thrashers anymore didn’t you?

And when I say “report”, I mean simply repeat what’s given to you.

Keep up the good work lapdog.