Monday, June 9, 2008

Finally! Some News...

So, the AJC has finally gotten off their asses and hired a replacement for Craig Custance. I feel sorry for the guy. I haven't met one person who disliked Craig, but lets give the new guy a shot. He says here he has worn his old Atlanta Knights t-shirt until it can be worn no more. Good enough for me.

More importantly there is news on the coaching front. I have seen a lot with the Thrashers and the lack of media coverage, but I can honestly say I can't believe it has taken this long for some news. Here is what Mike Knobler (new guy) has to say:

**One drank beer from the Stanley Cup last week. Another hopes to hoist the Calder Cup Tuesday night. A third won the Stanley Cup as a player. Todd McLellan, John Anderson and Brad McCrimmon are candidates to become the Thrashers' coach. One of them could have the job by next week. But, Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said Monday, he might hire someone else.

Waddell said he will begin interviewing three or four candidates later this week and that two of them will be Anderson, coach of the Thrashers' top minor-league affiliate, and McCrimmon, the Thrashers' associate coach. McLellan, an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings, was in San Jose on Monday interviewing for the Sharks job and will interview for the Thrashers job, too, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

"He's one of several people we've reached out to talk to," Waddell said of McLellan, but there's no guarantee he's one of the ones who will have a face-to-face interview. A coach will be in place before the NHL draft June 20-21, Waddell said.

The Thrashers have been without a permanent head coach since Waddell fired Bob Hartley in October. Five other NHL teams have coaching vacancies, too, but Waddell said there are plenty of excellent candidates to go around and the Thrashers aren't necessarily in a race to snag their man before somebody else grabs him.

"We all have different needs," Waddell said, adding that he needs someone whose strength is developing young players. "Our best players are young players. We have to make sure we have somebody who can not only win games but help these players continue to become the best hockey players they can."

One prerequisite for the job: With the exception of Anderson, Waddell said, anyone who interviews will have NHL experience. That would appear to eliminate one of this year's hot coaching prospects – Peter DeBoer of the major junior Kitchener Rangers. Ron Wilson, who might have been a prime candidate, has agreed in principle to accept the Toroto Maple Leafs job, Canadian network TSN reported.**

Welcome to the club Mike. I already like you better than Jeff Dultz.

For The Blueland Chronicle, I'm Big Shooter.

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