Hockey

Thrashers hire John Anderson

The Atlanta Thrashers announced the hiring of John Anderson as head coach on Friday.

The Atlanta Thrashers announced the hiring of John Anderson as head coach on Friday.

Anderson, 51, led Atlanta's American Hockey League affiliate in Chicago, the Wolves, to the Calder Cup championship earlier this month. It was his second AHL win, following two championships in the International Hockey League.

"John has an impressive record of success as a head coach and we are excited to be adding him to our organization," said Thrashers general manager Don Waddell. "He’s a proven winner whose leadership and experience behind the bench will play a vital role in the resurgence of our hockey club."

Waddell had denied a report on Thursday that Anderson's hiring was complete. The GM took over behind the bench after firing coach Bob Hartley early in the 2007-08 season.

Atlanta finished 34-40-8 and out of the playoffs after winning the NHL's Southeast Division the previous season.

Anderson coached players on the Wolves who are expected to get a shot at cracking Atlanta's lineup in the near future, including forwards Bryan Little and Angelo Esposito, defenceman Boris Valabik and goalie Ondrej Pavelec.

Anderson played for 12 years in the NHL with Toronto, Hartford and Quebec, scoring 282 goals and 349 assists for 631 points in 814 games.

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