LOS ANGELES -- Craig Ramsay, who served as an assistant coach with the Bruins from 2007 to 2010 and was named head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday, drew high praise from his former team.
When Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who signed a two-year contract with Boston on Thursday, learned the news of Ramsay’s new job he gave him a ringing endorsement.
“He’s a great coach and I wish him well,” Boychuk said.
Ramsay, 59, previously served as an interim head coach for Philadelphia (2000) and Buffalo (1986-1987) and was an assistant with Tampa Bay, Ottawa and Florida.
Early Thursday morning, before the move was official, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli also had kind words for Ramsay.
“If he gets this job with Atlanta, he deserves it and I would congratulate him,” Chiarelli said. “He’s got a lot of strengths that are subtle and that’s what he brings to his coaching.”
Doug Houda and Geoff Ward are the remaining assistant coaches in Boston. There is a chance the Bruins could promote Providence head coach Rob Murray or assistant Bruce Cassidy to replace Ramsay.
“He was a big part of our coaching staff and if we lost him we would have to replace him,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve got a good group with two good assistants and I’ve talked to Claude a little bit about if we lost Ramer, what would we do? We’ve got some plans and I certainly have every bit of confidence in the group already.”
During his time in Boston, Ramsay was best known for his ability to communicate with the players.
“He’s a real common guy and he’s really good one-on-one with guys,” Chiarelli said. “He’s got a ton of experience and he can communicate with the guys on a level that, when you’re day-to-day and you have to communicate and tell guys what they’re doing wrong, it gets tiresome from both sides. He can really connect that way to the players and he can still be passionate.”