- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Seen and heard last night at Philips Arena in Atlanta:

LEACH JOINS STAFF — The Caps added Jay Leach to their coaching staff. Leach, who joins Randy Carlyle and goalie coach Dave Prior as assistants to new coach Glen Hanlon, was an assistant with New Jersey (2001-2002), Atlanta (1999-2001), Los Angeles (1996-1999) and Hartford (1989-1991). Like Hanlon, Leach was a head coach in the American Hockey League. The Philadelphia native won division titles with Springfield in 1992 and Hershey in 1994 and was an assistant on Team USA’s silver medal-winning team at the 1991 Canada Cup.

ON THE ROAD — The game was the first for the Caps away from MCI Center under Hanlon. His 11 predecessors were 5-6 in their road debuts, but Jim Schoenfeld was the only one of the last five to lose. Of the seven Caps coaches to take over during a season, though, only Bryan and Terry Murray won their first road games before Hanlon’s victory.

COACHING CAROUSEL — When Carolina fired ninth-year coach Paul Maurice on Monday and hired Peter Laviolette, it made Atlanta’s Bob Hartley No. 2 in the Southeast Division in seniority even though he has only been with the Thrashers for 11 months. Tampa Bay’s John Tortorella, who took over the Lightning at the start of the 2000-2001 season, is the only coach in the division who has been on the job for even a year. Hanlon (Dec. 10) and Florida’s Rick Dudley (Nov. 8) are the other Southeast coaches.

OH ATLANTA — Despite an impressive 14-5-4 record against the fifth-year Thrashers, the Caps haven’t fared well in Atlanta. Washington is just 5-4-2 at Philips Arena. When the Flames called Atlanta home before moving to Calgary in 1980, the Caps were just 1-10-1 in the Peachtree City.

REMEMBERING DAN — A No. 37 Thrashers jersey hangs in the home team locker room and the number is painted on the boards in tribute to center Dan Snyder, who died on Sept. 29 from injuries suffered in a car crash. Thrashers right wing Dany Heatley, who was driving the car and who faces vehicular homicide charges in Snyder’s death, is close to returning to the ice after suffering a broken jaw and two torn knee ligaments in the accident.

David Elfin

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