The Collected Wisdom of Bob Hartley

When Jay Feaster announced the hiring of Bob Hartley a scant three years ago, I don’t think anybody could’ve anticipated the success he would have fostering the Calgary Flames through their long-awaited rebuild.

But more importantly for sports writers, nobody really anticipated the treasure trove of quotable quotes that coach Hartley would provide the world with over his tenure. To both celebrate his contract extension and ring in the holiday season, we present to you a selected collection of Hartley’s best zingers.

We’re hoping to continue adding to this, so add any we might have missed in the comments!

“It’s beginning to feel like Romper Room.” – referring to the number of young call-up players on the team.

“You can either be in the parade, or watching it.” – discussing the level of systemic buy-in on the team.

“As
much as I’d like shutouts for the rest of the season, his middle name
isn’t plywood.”
– on Karri Ramo, during his goaltender’s shutout streak.

“He’s like a canoe in a small lake – no big waves.” – on Sean Monahan’s consistency game-to-game.

“It’s easy to be a sailor on calm seas.” – on hard times and perseverance.

“He’s like the Energizer Bunny.” – frequently used to describe smaller players with high compete levels (notably Paul Byron last season). (Players that are eager and/or respond quickly to stimuli may also be referred to as the Maytag Repairman.)

“Turnovers, they belong in a bakery, not in a hockey game.” – frequently used, particularly last season, describing defensive zone play.

“I don’t think that we looked like a bunch of fat cats out there.” – on his team’s loss in Tampa Bay in November, referring to the team’s high level of compete.

  • RKD

    A big reason people were skeptical was because of the optics. Jay Feaster hired his buddy and we saw a ton of nepotism denial when Darryl hired his own brother Brent to coach the Flames. Hartley was coaching overseas and had not coached in a while, when he was hired his Stanley Cup victory was a decade old. No one was really sure what to expect and given the appetite for a rebuild a lot of people wanted to see a guy like Troy Ward cut his teeth. However, Hartley has adapted quite a bit, the young players got to step in for injuries but they are playing well under Hartley. He’s getting a lot out of his players and doing more with less. Given his past experience he can balance the vets and rookies. Wideman gets scratched and he responds in a big way, Gaudreau gets sat and he’s never looked back.

  • RedMan

    Hard to knock Hartley for anything he’s done since he arrived in Calgary. He’s taken a team with questionable talent and transformed them into a competitive squad that never quits, very rarely gets beaten badly and competes every shift and every night. Most impressive to me is that this team thinks they can win even when they’re down 3-0 going into the third period. How many teams truly believe they can win and how many mail in the two points, notably on back to back nights? There are many nights that I shake my head at the talent level, but never do I question their level of compete. And for me, I’ll take that type of team over an underachieving spent to the cap fat cat squad, anyday! And credit for the level of compete, preparation for each game, accountability and game strategy goes to Mr. Hartley. If you question the value of a coaching staff (and management team) look 3 hours north and you’ll see the true meaning of dysfunctional.

    • Burnward

      I disagree with your repeated phrase of “questionable talent”. I would rather say that this is a team of average talent with some stars like Gio, Brodie, Johnny Hockey, and even Hudler and solid goaltending…and there are more stars on the way (Bennett, Poirier)

      As opposed to Edmonton who keep chirping about their great offensive talent that has never reached their “perceived and overvalued” potential.

      With Hartley at the reigns of this rebuild, we can truly say, in the words of Bob Johnson that “This is a great day for hockey” every time the Flames hit the ice!

  • prendrefeu

    I’m most impressed by the work ethic Hartley has instilled into this team, and the (reported) rigor of his practice sessions.

    I used to coach (Girls Soccer, 14-16y.o., local league) and intense practices made the difference, getting the team up to supreme condition made even the most passive girl into one who could hold her own on the pitch and compete with the elite on other teams. Win or lose my girls were fun to watch, made each and every match competitive, and really felt together throughout. I know all too well the value in practice and conditioning, the results carry over to more than just performance.

    The quotes and accent are just bonuses. I like Hartley a lot. I like his enthusiasm for the sport, more so than other coaches I see playing bench boss. I can’t think of another coach who starts shaking gleefully in anticipation when he sees a breakout opportunity, or who really jumps for joy when his team scores. Small things like that make a huge difference – it adds to the positivity and passion in the club, the belief in great results, and the belief in the team that he coaches. I honestly want to see him raise another cup above his head, and I want to that with a team of flaming C’s on jerseys smiling behind him.

    Go Flames Go!!

  • Colorado Flames

    Scott Parker former NHL goon alledges that when he was starting his career in Colorado that Hartley told him that if he didn’t fight on a regular basis that ” he would be smelling the chocolate fumes in Hershey”. Hershey was the Avs AHL affiliate at the time. Don’t know if it’s true but it’s definitely something I could see Hartley saying. Scott Parker owns a barber shop not far from where I live.

    That said I was not a fan of the Hartley hiring at the time Feaster announced it due to the fact that I was familiar with him from his Colorado days but he has proven to be a much better coach than I had ever anticipated. I was thrilled to hear he was resigned. Definitely the right move. Also I’m sure I can think of some more quotes from his Colorado days.