In a move that could mean a lot or mean very little for the Flames, the Brandon Wheat Kings announced this morning that they are parting ways with head coach Cory Clouston, who has one year left on his contract with the WHL club.
In a media release, Wheaties general manager Kelly McCrimmon explained his rationale for the move.
I have given a great deal of thought to our coaching situation for the upcoming season," says McCrimmon. "I do not want uncertainty with this important position and as a result have decided we will not have Cory return next season. He will perhaps have opportunities to coach professionally, failing that, we will honor the second year of his contract."
Clouston last coached in the National Hockey League in a rather uneven stint with the Ottawa Senators, who went 95-83-20 under his watch. He is no stranger to the Calgary Flames management group, who witnessed prospect Michael Ferland’s progression under his tutelage and also saw his Wheat Kings bounce the Calgary Hitmen from this year’s WHL playoffs (before beng swept in the second round by the eventual champions, the Edmonton Oil Kings).
The move comes as one NHL coaching job was filled, as the Blue Jackets elected to keep Todd Richards, and another opened up, with Dale Hunter leaving the Capitals. As of this writing, Calgary, Montreal and Washington are the only teams officially searching for a new bench boss, although that can easily change between now and the draft, particularly with the Edmonton Oilers still waffling on the future of Tom Renney with the club.