In an effort to return to the successes of 2004, the Calgary Flames may soon bring back another member of that year’s Western Conference Championship team.
Sportsnet 960 The Fan’s Pat Steinberg reported on his Twitter feed today that the Flames have had talks with former Flames forward Martin Gelinas about their vacant assistant coach position.
#Flames have spoken with Nashville Director of Player Development Martin Gelinas about vacant assistant coaching position.
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) June 14, 2012
Gelinas was a crucial part of the Flames 2004 playoff run, scoring the series clinching goals in each of the first three rounds. He also (nearly) put the puck in the net in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals, which we will never speak of again.
Gelinas left Calgary via free agency and retired from playing in 2009. He played 1273 NHL games with Edmonton, Quebec, Vancouver, Carolina, Calgary, Florida and Nashville, appearing in four Stanley Cup Finals with four different teams (and winning a Cup in 1990 with Edmonton).
With former Shawinigan Cataractes head coach Eric Veilleux reportedly joining the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar as their head coach, Gelinas may immediately become the front-runner for the Calgary vacancy opened up by Dave Lowry’s recent departure. The big question surrounding Gelinas is whether he can run an offense and power-play, having never coached at any level previously. Then again, based on his playing record, he certainly knows how to score and how to win. The secondary question is whether surrounding the club with people from the 2004 run is the best way to move the team into the future.
Gelinas was a quality player for many years and avid about conditioning which is why he was effective well into his 30’s. He has been the Predators director of player development since 2009-10.
UPDATE: The Calgary Sun’s Randy Sportak is reporting that the deal is done and that Gelinas could be announced as the newest assistant coach as early as Thursday.