New Flames Coaching Candidate: Cory Clouston



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.


  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I believe I remember the star players on the Senators not reacting well to Cory’s coaching methods.

    The only way it might work is if a certain star player on the Flames was no longer on the roster. Clouston, another Viking product would be another Sutter-esque type coach – what’s that definition of insanity again?

  • RexLibris

    PLEASE no! The Sens struggled under him. He’s a hard nosed ‘do as I say’ type coach. There really deeper reasons I’m told why Heatley left Ottawa and it had very little to do about with his ‘role’. This team (not club Mr Feaster)needs a player coach. Someone who the players will play for and not be fearful of. Someone who u give your all for because u don’t want to disappointed him.

  • Vintage Flame

    I’ll take an emphatic PASS on Clouston.

    Heard that there were many problems with communication in Ottawa, and if I recall, he didn’t have the best relationship with Jason Spezza. If that’s true, I can’t even fathom what he would be like with Iginla.

    Also if he is being dumped by a WHL team with 1 year left on his contract, that should be a red flag for Feaster.

    Thanks… but no thanks.

  • RexLibris

    I don’t think Cloutson is a coach that would mesh well with a locker room that has some questions swirling around it already.

    I know that many fans here want the Flames to hire a new, young coach but with the group that dominates the culture of the team a veteran presence, maybe even one that used to play the game, might be the best bet.

    Whichever coach the Flames hire, it is hard to imagine that position being held by the same person three years from now. I expect it will be a short term position tied to the length of Iginla’s remaining years in Calgary.

  • RexLibris

    @RP That was sort of what I was trying to say, but re-reading what I wrote I can see that it comes across wrong.

    Iginla is 35 and probably has somewhere between three to five years left in the NHL. That is the range of coaching term that I would estimate for the next HC candidate.

    Unless, as you say, it isn’t. Don’t you love it when lawyers talk to the media?

    It’s like listening to economists forecast: “x could happen, unless it doesn’t and then y will definitely occur except in the case of the event of z”.

    I’d kind of like to see Iginla retire a Flame. I don’t think it will help bring a championship to Calgary, but that ship has largely sailed and a rebuild isn’t on the horizon anyway, so why not have the city celebrate something that is almost unheard of in professional sports these days?

    Here is an off-topic question: after Iginla retires, despite the likelihood that he never brings a championship to Calgary, would the Flames or the city erect a statue of him similar to those of Orr, Jordan, and other sports figures?

  • Colin.S

    I really don`t care for Clouston for a lot of the same reasons I didn`t want Ward as the headcoach. Whatever he could try and do here, is going to be over turned by the captain and we all now that.

  • First Name Unidentified

    @ RexLibris

    Rex, I hope you didn’t take my previous post personally. I just thought I’ll throw it out there. And I really like reading your posts when I can…when I have enough time to go through them. haha.

  • RexLibris

    Pass on Clouston. What he did didn’t work in Ottawa and I see no reason to believe that it would work in Calgary. plus… it was boring.

    I really hope Feaster and Co. arn’t going to limit their search to failed NHL coaches of yore (Clouston/Hartley) and are willing to look further then their own noses (Ward).

    Guy’s like Haviland and Cooper ought to be given strong consideration.

  • marty

    i really hope this is just a rumour and will not actually happen. this could make hartley seem like a worthy canidate. boo urns to this, cloutson is horrible. signed wheat kings and sens

  • Bob Cobb

    If Iginla is on your team for the next 3 to 5 years you have more problems than just finding a head coach. Let the past go, or don’t I don’t care, cause you’ve already passed the point where you would get something of major worth back for #12. Don’t agree with my previous statement, I don’t care, Feaster, or should I say Ken King, wouldn’t be smart enough to move Iginla anyway.

  • RexLibris

    @First Name

    Nothing here is personal. No worries.

    I do actually try to cut myself short sometimes, but I get into a topic and, well, enough said… 😉

    For what it’s worth, I actually can see the City of Calgary erecting a statue of Iginla (though hopefully with enough sense to not have him holding a Stanley Cup if he doesn’t win one in Calgary) after his playing days are done.

    I didn’t mean to hijack the article with a different topic, the thought just came to me and I thought I’d ask.

  • Bob Cobb

    He was coaching junior for a reason. He’s a terrible coach. Cory was unable to get the most out of his players because of how used them on ice (ex: Karlsson on the PK, and not playing him with the teams better players, and also using Spezza more often in the D Zone than the O Zone) and off the ice as well since he had “communication problems” with his players

  • RKD

    Clouston seems to be a good guy, however, I don’t think he would be the right coach for the Flames.

    There’s a reason the Sens let him go and now the Brandon Wheat Kings. His relationship with Dany Heatley went south in a hurry resulting in Dany’s departure from the Sens.

    I would take Ward over Clouston.

    • RexLibris

      yes, except Heatley’s terrible, so who cares?

      moving on,
      Honestly, I don’t think Clouston is even on the Flames’ radar. I mean (as has been mentioned), a junior coach who just got shafted by his team? If the junior team doesn’t really want him back, then why would an NHL team want him?

  • RKD

    Not Clouston! The Flames right now should be deciding between Ward and Johnson. Whatever their decision regarding the position of coach is, they need to make their decision ASAP. That way they know how they want to draft, and what type of moves they want to make after June 22.

  • Reidja

    I’ll agree with the consensus that CC is a horrible candidate with the caveat that IT DOESN’T FREAKING MATTER WHO COACHES THIS TEAM AS IT’S CURRENTLY CONSTRUCTED…. For eff’s, can we deal with more pressing issues… (psst *whidper yell* THE ROSTER).

  • Reidja

    I am pretty easy going with the coaching candidates. I don’t like Ward. I don’t like Hartly. But if either gets the job I am not going to lose any sleep over it. Its not that I don’t care. The reality is there isn’t a smoking gun candidate that I am absolutely hoping they go out and get.

    But god help me if they hire Clouston. Horrible choice.

  • Derzie

    Hypothetical question: Darryl Sutter wins the Cup in LA and for some reason, doesn’t want to coach there next year. All history with the Flames aside, would he still be a better coaching candidate for Flames than anyone else out there?

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

  • loudogYYC

    So a WHL team in Manitoba is willing to pay this guy next season to NOT coach and he’s being considered for an NHL team that needs a lot of help? HELL no.

  • RexLibris

    C’mon guys people really didnt start to “complain” about Iggy until Brent got here. We know those two did not see eye to eye on much. I for one believe Keenan was the best for him and Brent was the worst for him. Get another coach like that and Iggy will play the way he should.