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Ramsay named associate coach

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 18, 2001


MONTREAL -- The Lightning added an experienced voice behind the bench Wednesday when it hired Craig Ramsay as an associate coach.

The former Flyers coach fills the position that opened when John Tortorella was named head coach after Steve Ludzik was fired Jan. 6.

"I've been with young teams that were learning and trying to win, and that's what I see from this team," said Ramsay, whose contract, like Tortorella's, runs through 2002-03. "I've watched them a fair bit this year, and they've got youth and excitement, and they play hard. They just have to fine-tune it a little bit."

Ramsay, 49, fired by the Flyers on Dec. 10, is expected to join the Lightning on Monday.

Tampa Bay general manager Rick Dudley said Tortorella suggested Ramsay for the position. Ramsay was the Sabres' assistant general manager when Dudley was coach and Tortorella an assistant.

"He's like Torts," Dudley said. "He likes the kids, and he likes to teach.

Ramsay played for the Sabres from 1971-85 and was Dudley's teammate from 1972-75 and 1978-81. He spent eight additional seasons with Buffalo as interim head coach, assistant coach, director of player personnel and assistant GM.

He was an associate coach with the Panthers from 1993-95 and with the Senators from 1996-98. He was named Flyers coach in February when Roger Neilson was diagnosed with cancer and led the team to the Eastern Conference final. He was fired this season with a 12-12-4 record.

"He brings quite a bit of knowledge and experience," Tortorella said. "He's a good fit for our organization and the coaching staff."

"I didn't want to jump into something I wasn't sure of," Ramsay said. "But after watching he team and knowing the people, this is an ideal situation."

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