Craig Ramsay might not be a lock for the new coaching job of the yet-to-be-named Winnipeg team, but he has a better chance to hang around with the organization than anyone else has so far. Ramsay will not necessarily be retained as head coach, but he will be on the list of interviewees according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Also on the list for new GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to interview is the current coach of the Manitoba Moose/St. John's AHL team Claude Noel. That is contingent upon the Vancouver Canucks organization making him available for interviewing.
Ramsay was a successful assistant coach with the Boston Bruins franchise until 2010, when he was named the new head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers upon the firing of John Anderson and his coaching staff. Under Ramsay the team got off to a fire-and-brimstone start that fell apart and continued to sink in January. A rough schedule, relocation talk, and wear and tear wore on the team, and Ramsay was unable to maintain the momentum his squad had just a few months prior.
Players love to play for him (witness Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart's excitement at being traded to Atlanta), but the seem to not like to take that devotion to the coach and show it well on the ice. Ramsay is not a high-energy motivator, and I was extremely critical of him at several points of the season, especially as the losing streak drug on. His decisions to put the same lines out after goals against was a constant point of frustration, and led to the Thrashers' amazing ability to allow back to back goals in under two minutes or less.
I would never wish for anyone to be fired, but Noel is an outstanding coach and has coached the Moose to a good bit of AHL success in just the year he's been with the franchise. He also has some NHL experience, coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets after they fired coach Ken Hitchcock at the end of the 2009-2010 season. He finished that season 10-8-6.