It was announced on Thursday that former Atlanta Thrashers head coach Craig Ramsay will be stepping behind the bench for the Slovakian national team, inking a two-year deal to lead the European roster through the 2018 Olympics and both 2018 and 2019 World Championships.
A native of Toronto, Canada, Ramsay was drafted 19th overall by the Buffalo Sabres at the 1971 NHL Entry Draft.
He went on to have a lengthy NHL career, putting up 252 goals and 672 points through 1,070 games with the Atlantic Division club.
Although he’d never take home a Stanley Cup on the ice, he managed to hoist the cup in 2004 during his coaching tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he walked away from his on-ice career with a Selke Trophy to boot.
After retiring in 1985, Ramsay made the shift to coaching and front office work immediately with Buffalo, signing on as an assistant coach for his first year off the ice and remaining behind the bench for two years. He’d work his way up to Director of Player Personnel, then Assistant GM, before moving back to coaching in 1993. He’s been behind the bench ever since, albeit predominantly as an assistant or associate.
In addition to his stints with Tampa Bay and Buffalo, Ramsay boasts time spent with the Dallas Stars as a scout, the Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, and Edmonton Oilers (all as an assistant coach), and the Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers as a head coach. Now, he’ll return to being in charge, this time at the international level.