The Atlanta Thrashers have fired head coach John Anderson and assistants Randy Cunneyworth, Todd Nelson and Steve Weeks.
The house cleaning at the coaching level may not be enough to change the fortunes of the Thrashers, however, who have seen years of poor management decisions result in yet another missed opportunity. After losing Ilya Kovalchuk and ending up on the outside looking in for the post-season, there’s little left for fans in Atlanta to cheer for.
The Thrashers finished 10th in the Eastern Conference and didn’t make the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Anderson went 70-75-19 behind the bench in Atlanta and spent 15 years coaching in the minors.
The Thrashers also promoted Don Waddell to president and Rick Dudley to general manager. Waddell’s shift in focus could be seen as a welcome change, but it’s hard to say if Dudley will be able to invoke enough of a difference in the franchise to shift the team’s fortunes.
“My role within the company has evolved and grown the last few years, and the owners and I agree that it’s the appropriate time to have Rick assume all hockey-related responsibilities while I shift my primary focus to the business side of the Thrashers,” said Waddell in a statement.
So will these changes mean anything in Atlanta? Probably not. The team has a decent young group of players to work with, but they’re still well short of any long-term success. Unless and until a management group comes along that takes the team’s needs seriously, I don’t see much hope for the Thrashers.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.