Thrashers fire head coach Hartley
10/17/2007 11:40:23 PM
After six straight losses to open the season, the Atlanta Thrashers have fired head coach Bob Hartley. General manager Don Waddell will take over behind the bench on an interim basis until a replacement can be hired.
With all six losses coming in regulation, the Thrashers have yet to register a point this season and sit last in the overall standings. They are also 30th in the league in goals scored with nine and trail only the Kings and Maple Leafs in goals against 27.
"It's obviously something that I felt we had to do," Waddell said in an interview with The Canadian Press. "We started the year 0-and-6 and if you go back to last year how the playoffs went for us, we've lost 10 games in a row. And I didn't see anything that was going to change for us."
"Whether Bob should be the victim here or not, time will tell, but unfortunately in this business coaches all have shelf lives," said Waddell. "And Bob's has wore out I believe here. And it's time for the guys to hear a new message."
The power play has also been abysmal, scoring only twice in 26 chances with the man advantage. Part of the Thrashers' power play woes can be attributed to the loss of Marian Hossa to injury. Hossa, who scored 43 goals last season, has missed three games this year with a groin injury.
"It was a shock," Thrashers defenceman Garnet Exelby told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I don't think anybody saw this coming. It's only six games. Sometimes changes need to be made. At the same time, it tells all of us it's a big wake-up call and we need to fix this."
The Thrashers won the Southeast Division title last season and earned their first trip to the playoffs while posting a franchise-best record of 43-28-11. However Hartley was under fire after Atlanta was swept in the first round by the New York Rangers after the team loaded up at the trade deadline, acquiring Keith Tkachuk and Alexei Zhitnik.