Breaking – Flames Hire Bob Hartley



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.

  • Gange

    I wanted a new fresh change as much as anyone, but the market just doesnt support the wholesale changes to happen overnight & Ownership & Management arent into the Kablooey approach. Therefore, guys like Ward & Sullivan or Eakins are going to initially hit roadblocks with the vet core & either trigger yet another coaching change or firesale of some star players. Hartley, being Feasters guy, wont have to put up with that crap in the dressing room. So it’s the beginning of the end for the old star core. If players are not coachable, Feaster isnt bringing in a guy from Switzerland & I’m sure Hartley, who had options, wouldnt have accepted the position to run into that garbage. Wolf should be happy, I see this as the prelude to Iggy being traded.

  • Parallex

    my thoughts on interview decision process.
    Feaster: Hey hes my kids Godfather, he’s gold
    Weisbroad: Sounds good. A Godfather will make the players an offer they cant refuse.
    Conroy: (sipping a coffee) Can’t remember him, sure.
    Feaster: That’s it, i dont know the other guys so we’ll hire him.
    Weisbroad: Can he coach basketball too. Wish i was back in the NBA.
    Conroy: Do we have any sugar left?

    Yup non hockey guys running hockey, that a recipe for success.

    • Oyo

      Non hockey guys?
      Weisbrod helped construct the Stanley cup winning boston bruins ( with tons of potential to do again I might add ) and Conroy was a player no less then 2 season ago….. Not sure what exactly qualifies as a “hockey guy” in your books.

  • Parallex

    Since I don’t really have any memories of Bob Hartley I’ll ask the same questions that I posed in the Sullivan topic…

    Can anyone describe his coaching style in detail (i.e. more in-depth then “Defense First”, “Players Coach”, “Hardass” and all the other cliche adjectives)?

    How does he match lines?

    Does he use zone start as a line assignment determiner?

    Do his teams use a dump-and-chase entry or do they try to carry it in?

    Does he ride one goalie or does he share the workload?

    How often (if at all) does he dress a goon?

    What kind of forecheck do his teams use(1-2-2, 2-1-2 etc)?

    A description of his teams on the powerplay?

  • He’s a re-tread, but so were a lot of the other candidates. If you’re gonna hire a re-tread coach, you hire one with a Stanley Cup ring, I suppose.

    But then again, he’s flamed out of the only other NHL jobs he’s had. But it’s taken him five years to do so in each market.

    A bit disappointed it’s not Troy Ward, though.

    @Kent. I had heard that Hartley had an “out” in his ZSC Lions contract to go to Calgary, Montreal or Quebec.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I think Hartley is a good hire for this edition of the flames. When MK,JI and OJ get ru-upped, a veteran laden squad led by a veteran loving coach… it fits. Also, good news for Oiler fans hoping for a BOA sweep next year.

  • Not a huge fan of the hiring. I was hoping for someone younger who really embraced advanced stats. Thats not to say Hartley doesn’t/wont but it would’ve been great to see a young face come in and revitalize this team. Hartley just seems like more of the same.

    That being said, I’m willing to give Hartley a shot and will reserve judgement until at least the end of the season. I have been a huge fan of the work Feaster has done so far and I am willing to trust him on this one.

    On a side note, Feaster must really believe Hartley is the right guy. The best reaction he is going to get is “meh, he’s ok” and a large portion of the fanbase will be up in arms over the hiring. Whatever goodwill Feaster built up with his good moves so far he used up with this hiring. If it doesn’t work out, expect the calls for Feaster’s head to be loud.

    • Aw crap! That’s the last type of coach this team needs. Again shows up Feaster doesn’t know hockey, just hiring a buddy. Don’t think ward is right. Needs time. I think this will spell the end of iggy. I guess another 2 years out of the playoffs.

  • Oyo

    A disappointing development for sure. Hartley does not know any of the players, has been out of the league for 5 years, and at least I don’t know what his record is in situations where there are major changes in the roster.

    This seems to be all about hiring a friend, and as I know in my own business career, friends are not necessarily the best business partners.

    I hope that we can keep Troy Ward, but I wouldn’t be surprised that he has phone calls from elsewhere. Very disappointing.

  • ChinookArchYYC


    Thats a great thought and unless Feaster told hartley he’d get an assistant GM job or something(goodbye Conroy), I’d doubt that is the case. I don’t see Hartley wanting to be a placeholder, I think he wants to be the guy and the long term guy

  • Gange

    Here’s hoping that Hartley embraces advanced stats and what they provide to him. Though, I’m not 100% confident the rest of management does yet. We’ll see.

    Perhaps this is an interim hiring until they feel that Ward is ready to make the leap.

    In that vein I’ll say that maybe this is for the best in that Ward has more time with the prospects and their development. It might be too early to pull him away from Abbottsford from that perspective.

  • Again I don’t think Ward would not be the answer for the next year ot two, and maybe Sullivan in NY told the Flames thanks but not Thanks, maybe he wants to stay in the East.

    It’s the expected move and hiring a buddy, so we move from one guy hiring all his friends and family to another.

  • Gange

    For me, the only exciting thing about this is that the Flames have cock-blocked Montreal.

    Otherwise it’s a very Meh coaching decision.

    I was really pulling for Ward but we’ll see what happens.

    Here’s hoping for some line matching now!

  • Quick fixes won’t get the team anywhere. If they didn’t think Brent was the man for the job, what makes them think Bob would be?

    Yikes, I was rooting for Feaster but he isn’t doing anything to help this team out.