June 17 2016 09:00AM
The Calgary Flames are finally filling their coaching vacancy June 17, announcing that Glen Gulutzan will be their 16th head coach (and 18th since the team played in Atlanta).
Previously head coach for the Dallas Stars for two seasons and most recently an assistant coach with the hated Vancouver Canucks for the last three, Gulutzan's still very young (only 44) and relatively early in his coaching career.
So who the heck is this guy?
June 17 2016 08:09AM
Following the 2015-16 season, it became evident the Flames needed a new coach. It wasn't just because they had been in the playoffs the year before, and failed to make it this past season - it was because Bob Hartley, who had been hired under the previous regime before the lockout in 2012, had taken the Flames as far as he could.
There was a semblance of year-to-year growth as Hartley inherited a suddenly-rebuilding team, and the futures of the franchise - the Sean Monahans, the Johnny Gaudreaus - learned how to play under him. But without overall notable improvement, it was time to move on.
The situation wasn't that unique to Hartley and the Flames. Often times, rebuilding teams don't stick with the same coach: they have one guy at the helm for the beginning, until inevitably, they have to move on. It happened to the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings en route to multiple Stanley Cups; a coaching change even brought the Pittsburgh Penguins their fourth Cup in franchise history just this season.
To that end, the Flames are expected to name their replacement in mere hours: Glen Gulutzan, the former head coach of the Dallas Stars, and most recently, assistant coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
Nation World HQ
June 17 2016 05:00AM
The NHL is boring, Kessel gets it done, is Matthews really better than Laine, what do the Canucks have at 5, remembering Gordie Howe, Flames buyouts, where will Yakupov go, the NHL draft, Vegas expansion, free agency, Randy Carlyle and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.
June 16 2016 02:00PM
It was a season of change and challenges for the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League in 2015-16.
The Calgary Flames' top affiliate was uprooted from Glens Falls, New York and moved across the continent to Stockton, California as part of the AHL's westward movement. The team also saw college superstar goalie Jon Gillies go down for hip surgery early in the season and saw a rotation of injuries, call-ups and other maladies stall their growth.
Despite all that, they very nearly made the post-season.
I had a chance to chat with Stockton Head Coach Ryan Huska about the season last week.
June 16 2016 12:00PM
It's hard to believe that it's been nine years since the Flames drafted Mikael Backlund in the first round. Since then, he's had to battle through injuries, limited usage, being talked as a potential trade piece numerous times, and consistent criticism.
In a season that was dreadful for the team there were limited bright spots that occurred: one of which was a season that may have been long overdue, but nonetheless, was impressive. Finally, after many seasons we were treated to seeing a lot of what we here at Flames Nation have appreciated for many years.