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John Stevens for coach of the Thrashers?

Image (1) Stevens-thumb-250x166-9452.jpg for post 923

With the Atlanta Thrashers moving on without coach John Anderson, and Rick Dudley stepping up become the general manager, we’re already starting to get guesses as to who might take over on the bench. The first name we saw mentioned -- in many places -- was John Torchetti, the Chicago assistant coach with close ties to Dudley.

Craig Custance of Sporting News is looking in a different direction: former Flyers head coach John Stevens.

Stevens, who has one more year remaining on his deal with the Flyers, is eager to coach again and the Thrashers appeal to him as a destination.

“Rick Dudley is involved there and he’s a very good hockey man. He doesn’t sugar coat anything,” Stevens told “The part of the team I like the most is their defense.”

You would think that the Thrashers might want to go with a more established coach, who’s had some postseason success. Ken Hitchcock is available, as well as Craig MacTavish. Dudley, however, is one who normally sticks with the coaches he knows well; I doubt he hires a coach he’s never worked with before.

Speaking of Dudley, if the Thrashers are looking at finally getting their team over the hump from “potential” to “results” then Dudley is their man. He was instrumental in helping build the Blackhawks, as well as the Stanley Cup winning team in Tampa Bay.