by Brandt Corbin
Professional Sports can be a very unfair business, good men and women getting fired without getting much of a chance to prove their worth. Craig Ramsay could be one of those people; some can say he’s never received a fair shake, then on top of that in 2006 he had prostate cancer. The veteran coach is going into his 25th season, only three of those years has he been a head coach, the rest of that time he’s been an assistant coach.
Twice he’s served as the interim coach, first in 1986-87 with the Buffalo Sabres when he went 4-15-2. His second stint as interim coach was 13 years later with the Philadelphia Flyers when he went 16-8-1, his first full season with the Flyers (2000-01) he lasted 28 games going 12-12-4. His next head coaching job came last season in Atlanta; the team went 34-36-0-12 missing the playoffs.
Should he be retained in Winnipeg?
If new Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff were to fire Craig Ramsay would he be just in doing so? There would be two sides to this, one side being Cheveldayoff has the right to fire and hire is own head coach. Second side would be that like before Ramsay was not given time to prove his worth and deserves another crack at it.
If we were to poll the Winnipeg hockey fan, over 65% would agree with the general manager in letting Ramsay go. Mainly because of one reason, despite moving to Winnipeg, this franchise needs to make the playoffs and the coach failed to do so the year before. Should the coach take all of the blame? Absolutely not, then again the general manager Rick Dudley has already been kicked to the curb. If Ramsay starts the season as head coach, look for the hockey ops staff to bring in a potential replacement into the scouting department, so if they need to make a change, that staff member would already be in place. That is what the Chicago Blackhawks did, four games into the season Joel Quenneville who was hired to be a scout, was behind the bench replacing Hawk legend Dennis Savard.
Is Ramsay to laid back?
One of the reasons why he’s never been a “long term coach” is he doesn’t demand enough respect, in other words he’s to laid back. Think of Pat Quinn, John Tortorella and Quenneville, those coaches wore their hearts on their sleeves and demanded respect. Tell me the last time you’ve seen Ramsay flip out on a referee, player or another coach? He’s never done that; he’s allot like Mike Kitchen, not emotional enough and that can lead to a lack of success as a head coach.
Which ever way Cheveldayoff turns, we should find out before the NHL Entry Draft June 24th. Coaching changes normally take place before July 1, where the direction of the team would be known. It’s 50/50 whether Craig Ramsay will get his one last chance he desires.