ATLANTA - The Thrashers promoted Brad McCrimmon to associate coach Tuesday in a move that could pave the way for him to take over for Don Waddell, Atlanta's general manager and interim coach.
Waddell moved to the bench after firing Bob Hartley when the Thrashers started 0-6.
"Brad is an important part of our coaching staff and this well-deserved promotion reflects the expanded role I have asked him to take on," Waddell said.
"He has a great deal of NHL experience, is very well-respected and has earned this opportunity."
The 48-year-old McCrimmon is in his fourth season in Atlanta as an assistant.
McCrimmon, a native of Plenty, Saskatchewan, is a former assistant with Calgary (2000-02) and the New York Islanders (1997-98).
He coached the Western Hockey League's Saskatoon Blades for two years.
McCrimmon played in 1,222 games over 18 NHL seasons from 1979 to 1997 with Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit, Hartford and Phoenix.