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Report: Craig Ramsay to Return as Florida Panthers Assistant Coach

Rammer The last time Craig Ramsay coached the Florida Panthers, the team was playing its home games and the only rats associated with the franchise were, well, not rubberized.

According to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rammer is back.

Vivlamore tweeted (@ajcthrashers) that Ramsay had agreed to join Gord Murphy as an assistant on Kevin Dineen's staff.

Ramsay was an original assistant coach on the Panthers under Roger Neilson. He left when Neilson was fired in 1995. Murphy, of course, was a defenseman on that Panthers squad.

Aside from stints in Ottawa and Florida, Ramsay was an assistant under Neilson -- and was interim coach when Neilson was forced to take a medical leave because of his cancer treatments -- in Philadelphia. Ramsay has had to fight cancer himself, undergoing prostate surgery while with the Lightning in 2006.

Ramsay won the Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay (and was a candidate to be the Panthers head coach in 2003 although the Bolts wouldn't let Rick Dudley talk to him about the job). He was also an assistant in Boston before Dudley hired him to be the coach of the Thrashers last summer.

Ramsay, it turns out, would be the last coach of the Atlanta Thrashers. He wasn't brought back by the Winnipeg Ice Road Truckers.

Spoke to Ramsay at the NHL Draft a few weeks ago and he said he was doing well for a guy who was unemployed. I mentioned that it would be cool to see him back with the Panthers and he smiled.

He probably knew something was up then.

The Panthers have not confimed the report, saying only that the interview process is ongoing.

Here's a great story from Mike Brophy at Sportsnet.ca on Ramsay. Sounds like Florida to me. And with Dale Tallon, Mike Santos, Kevin Dineen and Gord Murphy here, I believe Craig Ramsay will get that respect he deserves.