Breaking - Flames Hire Bob Hartley

Kent Wilson
May 31 2012 09:54AM

 

 

According to Renaud Lavoie of RDS, the Flames have hired former Avs and Thrasher head coach Bob Hartley to take over for Brent Sutter.

If the team confirms, I have to admit I'm somewhat disappointed by the move. Im not sure any bench boss is going to do much for Calgary next season, but this sort of decision seems on it's face to be a lateral move at best. Hartley won a cup with an all-star cast in Colorado, but didn't do anything special in Atlanta and hasn't even been in the league for 5 years.

For now, it looks a bit like Feaster hiring a buddy of his, when what the team really needs is someone with some new ideas and a more progressive view of the game.

More later.

UPDATE - Flames confirm the hire.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#51 Mitch2
May 31 2012, 12:52PM
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Definitely no rebuild coming : (

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#52 Mitch2
May 31 2012, 12:55PM
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Owners had to sit with Feaster to meet with Hartley, Edwards just had to meet him and get to know him *sigh*

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#53 Dion
May 31 2012, 12:56PM
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I heard Hartley said himself that he uses advanced stats? Does he?

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#54 Graham
May 31 2012, 01:08PM
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A status quo, middle of the road hiring. A close friend of Feaster who will follow the company line, and not rock the boat. Sounds like a similar style to Sutter, defensesive minded task master. Hopefully he will prove a little more flexible than Sutter and actually adapt to the Flames and the new NHL.

Decent choice, just not sure that it signals the right change, if any change in direction.

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#55 Mitch2
May 31 2012, 01:10PM
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Hartley may have a more custom approach to players, that bodes well, instead of the Sutter one-size fits all.

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#56 Mitch2
May 31 2012, 01:12PM
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Hartley has a long list for Jarome - LOL - kind of like Hartley so far...

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#57 Dion
May 31 2012, 01:17PM
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Oops, I meant that I've heard someone say Hartley knows some stuff about advanced stats. Can anyone confirm this?

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#58 Mitch2
May 31 2012, 01:19PM
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Tangs likes Hartley and has a good relationship with him from the Avs, that is a good sign...

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#59 Colin
May 31 2012, 01:21PM
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Just wanted to comment on something Kent, said, maybe not the best Coaching hire, but like Kent said, a positive, it stops us from hiring some truly aweful coaches, such as R. Wilson, Crawford and more. In just that alone that is a success. However it will be seen if Hartley is the right coach for this team.

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#60 BurningSensation
May 31 2012, 02:06PM
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Way too much negativity about this. Hartley even has a winning record with the Atlanta Thrashers!

Experienced and a winner at all levels, I see no reason to knock him.

Is he a hardass? Probably. So? Good coaches often are (from Bowman to Babcock).

Does this 'mean' something in regards to keeping Iggy or Kipper? Maybe, maybe not. The guy won with vets so we know he like vets. He also did well with a young roster in Atlanta so we know he likes youth...and round and round we go.

Personally Hartley was one of my top two choices (Crawford being the other).

Sutter's gone and Hartley is the coach. Put on the big-boy pants and see how it turns out before the whining drowns out Edmonton's fanbase.

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#61 RexLibris
May 31 2012, 02:06PM
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@Kent

So is Hartley a good hire because fans in Calgary were afraid that the team would find somebody worse?

That is not a good sign.

I suspect that Hartley fits the bill that Dreger mentioned recently, wherein he will be a coach that will do the job howsoever management has asked him to.

As for your comment on compensation for the Lions - do you wonder if Feaster tried to send them Matt Stajan in exchange?

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#62 schevvy
May 31 2012, 02:09PM
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RexLibris wrote:

@Kent

So is Hartley a good hire because fans in Calgary were afraid that the team would find somebody worse?

That is not a good sign.

I suspect that Hartley fits the bill that Dreger mentioned recently, wherein he will be a coach that will do the job howsoever management has asked him to.

As for your comment on compensation for the Lions - do you wonder if Feaster tried to send them Matt Stajan in exchange?

Might as well throw Babchuk in there while we're at it!

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#63 Ryan Pike
May 31 2012, 02:17PM
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In a post-presser scrum, Feaster indicated that Troy Ward and Hartley were very close, but Hartley's NHL experience and success put him over the top.

He re-iterated how fortunate the Flames are to have Ward in the organization and believe he'll be an NHL coach in the future.

Hartley signed a 3-year deal. Jacques Cloutier was also released from his deal with ZSC Lions, but he hasn't been signed to a Flames contract as of yet. Decisions on Malarchuk and Hartsburg will be made in the coming weeks.

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#64 Tach
May 31 2012, 02:18PM
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@justin

I don't think you really do know that the coaching staff didn't use those statistics, or some variant containing the same data that we don't have access to. Nor do I think you really want the coach to employ such statistics. I would be very curious how you would suggest a coach ought to use corsi rates in terms of strategy.

I suspect what you want is the coach to employ a specific strategy using Iginla in a particular situation which would be reflected in the results shown by those statistics.

For all we know though, the coaching staff did look at those statistics(or more likely, more nuanced and detailed statistics reflecting possession rates that we don't have access to) and determined that the strategy they were using still provided the best likelihood of success.

Keep in mind, that in terms of usage you can control 2 of how much a player plays, who he plays against or how many shifts he starts on faceoffs in the offensive zone. And for every choice (I want to start Iginla-Tanguay-Cammalleri against easier competition in the offensive zone more, which results in playing them less) there is a concomitant reaction in other players' ice time (So I will need to play every other line more, against tougher competition and more often in the defensive zone).

I remain unconvinced that faced with such options, the Flames' prior coaching staff did not make logical ice time allocations.

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#65 the forgotten man
May 31 2012, 02:23PM
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Lather, rinse, repeat.

.

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#66 CA Flames Fan
May 31 2012, 02:28PM
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Well fellas.........at least the new coach's last name isn't Sutter........but those LA Kings.......man........

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#67 RexLibris
May 31 2012, 02:41PM
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@schevvy

And just throw Babchuk away like that? What a horrible waste of a former 1st round pick.

;-)

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#68 MC Hockey
May 31 2012, 05:21PM
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Every coach a NHL-levels is a hard-ass in some way....so anyone thinking that means Hartley is like DSutter or Keenan is obviously not aware of his methods or personality. Nice generalization! Anyways...

Flames could have picked up a non-winner who had less than .500 coaching record in the NHL and other places but he truly IS a winner. Lots of guys are suited to being NHL coaches but not all of them (e.g. Dave King) get tonnes of chances in the big league in North America...it takes the right connections and appreciation of the personality, talent, ane experience Hartley brings...and it appears at least one other team liked him. Finally, it seems that Colorado and Atlanta dumping him were not all his fault as players underperformed at bad times.

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#69 MC Hockey
May 31 2012, 05:23PM
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Great comments by Beloch to give better perspectives on Hartley's past. I think the real fans and non-negative nellies (I cannot believe I said that) will support this hire.

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#70 Franko J
May 31 2012, 07:42PM
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Regardless who the Flames hired today there are many other issues surrounding this team which need to be addressed. First and foremost the roster. Skill, leadership, inconsistent play and accountability lack with this current roster. Tied to Sutters' sins and bad managing, this is the first toe in the footprints that Feaster wants to make with this team.

Slowly Feaster is building his team. Now with Hartley in place, Feaster's attention will be on the roster. Like any good GM, it is time for him to obtain the players needed to be successful.

If this current core/roster is still in place at the start of next season ( strike or not ) Hartley will be another speed bump in the road like Sutter, Keenan, and Playfair.

This will be coach # 5 in seven seasons. With the hiring of Hartley what does this mean for Troy Ward? The other assistants?

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#72 Kevin R
May 31 2012, 08:03PM
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Thats interesting Kent. Do you know when Hartley started coaching that Switz team & would have negotiated that contract?

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#73 ChinookArch
May 31 2012, 08:17PM
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Opportunity Missed.

FN should have put out a poll for who readers thought Feaster would hire. Intellectual honesty, meritocracy, no in the end good ole fashion nepotism won out. Maybe it will work out?

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#74 Glenn
May 31 2012, 08:19PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Thats interesting Kent. Do you know when Hartley started coaching that Switz team & would have negotiated that contract?

I think it was just last year Kevin.

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#75 zachg
May 31 2012, 08:46PM
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to be honest boys, im so sick of the negativity, you have no idea how hartley will manage, motivate or control his players. All we know hartley comes in and theres success. Or he comes in and the players are unresponsive. For a change i would enjoy the positive vibe of maybe we can start something of a upward trend instead of a downward. If it doesent happen... ohwell... Currently i live in toronto, LEAFS SUCK!!! but you know what??... there fans are very up beat and "hey maybe this year" ya theyre way off. But f**k man they are very supportive and i respect that a whole lot. they love theyre team!! maybe... if the fans can really rally behind theyre team it might help instead of analyzing every stat and complaining about every move. its hockey man either the team has it or doesent, But love your team...if im bit*hing, i dont care im just sick of those people that have nothin to say but negativity, imagine we made 8 spot u never know!!!!!!7 i grew up in cgy and watched a crappy team..and still a die hard fan(3 when they won) i come back now theres a bar blah blah blah... just sayn GO FLAMES GO

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#76 Greg
May 31 2012, 11:31PM
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Marc Savard. Hartley took a guy we couldn't manage and was able to work with him pretty well. Don't know much else about him really but that does indicate he's better than at least 1 coach we've had this millennium.

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#77 Kevin R
June 01 2012, 12:05AM
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Thanks Glenn. I dont blame Feaster for going with someone you know & know what to expect & actually has had success. What I find totally positive is when I hear Feaster say the day he has to say goodbye to Hartley, they both will be packing their bags. I cant help but feel that this is the end of the clubhouse that burried coaches & were above what was best for the team. I like the fact that Hartley wants to have a long talk with Iggy. I've been saying this for a while, someone needs to talk to him & see if he wants to carry this team & lead by example or move on to a contender with the leadership already in place. I think Feaster is right that this team is not the scenario you want to start a young coach like Ward. I think short of a playoff run, Brent was destined for the road & Hartley was waiting in Switzerland.

And speaking of Hartley coaching in Switzerland, what a great starting connection between him & Sven. I think now we'll be seeing Kipper staying, Iggy traded & unless we get overwhelmed by an offer by Philly or Detroit, JBO will probably be put out there to see what could be had for a return.

People wanted change, well guess what, we're getting it, I for one am willing to give these guys a chance.

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#78 Justin Azevedo
June 01 2012, 03:44AM
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@Greg

although that one coach was greg gilbert so that's not really saying much.

and by much I mean gilbert's probably the worst coach this organization's ever had

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#79 Austin
June 01 2012, 08:20AM
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Do you think the Flames will still trade one of Iggy or Feaster now? It didn't sound to me at the interview like there would be much of a rebuild. I'm pretty sure Hartley said "I want to see our team being one of the best in the NHL" or something along those lines. PLEASE trade Kipper while we can get something for him.

Hartley's assistant coach, Jacques Cloutier is a goalie I think. Maybe this is significant if the Flames trade Kipper, he can help by concentrating on helping Irving. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into this. But I really do think that something needs to happen instead of just hiring Hartley and a new staff behind him. Let's make some real changes this off-season.

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#80 Graham
June 01 2012, 09:14AM
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@ Austin

I don't think the Flames ever had the intention of trading Iggy or Kipper. Hartleys comments pretty much reinforce that view.

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#81 Kevin R
June 01 2012, 09:32AM
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@ Graham: I'll tell you Graham, at that King/Feaster session on Weds night, there were several people that criticized Iggy & I did not get the impression they were defending Iggy. If anything, they confirmed player changes were coming & they will be getting a feel for the market returns for "all" assets. If they feel it improves the club, they'll do the deal. I guess define blowing up. I would say fire sale for as many picks & prospects as you can Tanguay, Iggy, Kipper, Cammi, JBO, Gio. Trading one or two of this group to improve the team is not a blow up.

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#82 RKD
June 01 2012, 10:20AM
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I'm not a big fan of Hartley, sure he has won at every level but that doesn't fix the lack of on ice talent.

Feaster wanted Hartley for a long time, so regardless of how much they like Troy Ward they didn't hire him because he wasn't the first choice.

I dunno if Sullivan wanted to come to Calgary if he was offered the job. Only time will tell if this is a good hiring.

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#83 negrilcowboy
June 01 2012, 12:52PM
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bob's your uncle.

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