Randy Carlyle will not be the next coach of the Calgary Flames

Just one day after the majority of Flames fans were popping bottles and dreaming of roses and Boudreaus, it all came screaming to a halt with one tweet from a prominent hockey insider.

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Now, I’m in no position to flat out discredit Renaud Lavoie – though the man tweeted we should expect Jonathan Drouin to be dealt within 24 hours, a couple thousand hours ago – but I think some cold water needs to be put on this before it burns out of control. 
We’ve got enough fires to deal with as is (side note: All our thoughts and prayers are with those affected in northern Alberta by these devastating fires). 
What I’m trying to say is, and the reason I’m writing this thing in the first place, is Randy Carlyle will not be the next coach of the Calgary Flames. 
Everything (edit: mostly!) Brad Treliving has done in his time in Calgary has been executed with logic and rationality, and neither applies to a scenario where Carlyle coaches the Calgary Flames next season. Here’s why. 

It Just Doesn’t Make Sense

Connecting the Brian Burke/Randy Carlyle dots is easy, and is likely what Renaud Lavoie did when sending out that tweet. The wording suggests to me it’s nothing more than an opinion. 
The other thing that suggests it’s nothing more than an opinion, is the fact that Randy Carlyle replacing Hartley simply makes no sense. It’s like replacing a green apple with a red apple. It’s essentially the same thing. 
While Carlyle believes in truculent, “black and blue hockey” which is what Treliving and Burke have both said they want, Carlyle’s coaching style is what disqualifies him for the job. It’s almost a carbon copy of Hartley’s.
Tough. Demanding. Old school.
If the players were sick of getting flayed daily and maybe were in need of a softer voice, bringing in Randy Carlyle seems like an ass-backwards solution.
Every coach will get on his players sometimes and using aggressive tactics can be effective at times, but when employed constantly they’re tuned out, and once tuned out, you end up on the street. See: every hot headed coach ever. 
Carlyle was personally shipped and delivered out of Anaheim by his players and lost the Leafs even quicker; I just can’t see the Flames taking a chance on him. If they’ve tuned out Hartley – which it sounds they have – Carlyle isn’t on a much different frequency, and it won’t take long before he melts into the wallpapers, too. 
From a systems standpoint, arguments can be made that Carlyle is nowhere near what the Flames want in terms of puck possession and with him at the helm, they could end up in the same boat of “crappy system, crappy usage, fire the coach!” which nobody wants.
Having said that, Carlyle has been out of the game for a while, and could say he’s changed and adapted his style to the new game. But old habits die hard and I doubt we’ll see a 60-year-old revolutionize and revamp a system he won a Stanley Cup with, albeit a decade ago. Bob Hartley won his cup nearly two decades ago and didn’t change much. 
Brad Treliving mentioned every time he was asked that the Flames would be more than open to giving a rookie head coach a shot. They’re looking for a fit, that’s the main objective. Someone whose style, attitude and approach fits best with their job description. 
If Randy Carlyle is the man who fits that job description best, then I don’t see why they fired Bob Hartley. Ergo, Randy Carlyle will not be the next head coach of the Calgary Flames.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go knock on all the wood I can find. 

  • The GREAT Walter White

    The question that I keep coming back to is: Why was BT in such a rush to fire Hartley?

    Why did he change his travel plans just to fire Hartley this week? Why not wait a week or 2?

    Why the urgency? Because the hiring of the new coach is time sensitive.

    Boudreau for example….


    • Christian Roatis

      He actually answered this fully and thoroughly.

      Now, because he just reached the decision and got approval from ownership, and felt Hartley deserved to hear it asap.

        • Stu Cazz

          You are absolutely correct! The timing of the Hartley firing is definitely linked to Boudreau’s availability. Boudreau is considered one of the top elite coaches in the NHL and BB/BT will not lose this opportunity.

          Of course they will be going through normal due diligence but you can bet talks with Boudreau are well underway. The facts made available to the media and fans are entirely different then the real initiatives that are underway as Boudreau is being pursued by numerous teams…Ottawa is a team owned by a cheap owner, at the end of the day Murray Edwards deep pockets will prevail…..

  • piscera.infada

    Would Ralph Kreuger be an option?

    I know he’s doing some soccer stuff across the pond. I also thought he did a very good job with a young Edmonton team in the one season he was there.

    • jakethesnail

      The Hartley and Boudreau’s firings are linked because:

      Tre wanted to give Hartley every chance to get another coaching job for next season and with Boudreau’s firing there would be one less job available.

      If Tre was absent from the Flames with Hartley still on the payroll, Flames fans would think that he had no interest in hiring Boudreau and Flames fans would be on his back from this point onward for not getting on with it at a crucial time for the organization.

      Just my thoughts. I personally think Boudreau should get the job if he wants it. The interest in Csrlyle is about an Eastern journalist wanting some exposure out West.

    • Christian Roatis

      Don’t think so, cause his soccer stuff I’m pretty sure is a very well paying executive role in the EPL.

      I wouldn’t even leave that and I hate soccer.

      • The GREAT Walter White

        Drafting MacDonald over Demko was the most illogical and irrational thing BT has done to date…

        The 3 headed goalie monster a distant second.


        • Christian Roatis

          You can’t positively say that yet, although it’s trending that way. Having said that, McDonald was a stalwart coming into his draft year with impeccable tools and was lauded by Hockey Canada (Brad Pascal). Also, Treliving had been on the job, what, a month? I credit most of the 2014 Draft to Brian Burke and the scouting staff.

          Maybe I’m being an apologist, but that’s how I see it.

          • McRib

            “I credit most of the 2014 Draft to Brian Burke and the scouting staff.”

            Totally agree then the 2015 Draft (outside of that Reilly Bruce pick, which was Treliving saying “Burkie choose the 7th Rounder to pretend like you were apart of this”) really seemed like Treliving finally getting full reigns of the GM duties. Even a couple of the early signings (Engelland, etc) seemed like Burke and then last summers moves (Hamilton, Frolik, etc) seemed like all Treliving who had finally gained full trust and control of the hockey decisions. I love when Brian Burke goes and rants and raves in the media (see how to make draft lottery better, as draft lottery is about to happen, Lol) because it signifies HE ISNT WORKING ON HOCKEY DECISIONS!!!

        • Tomas Oppolzer

          Y’know, you make a lot about that because of the rankings. Did you know one of CGYs biggest misses at the draft was them trading up to take someone ranked high? In 1990, they traded the 20th, 24th, and 29th for the 11th overall pick so they could draft the top ranked goalie prospect, Trevor Kidd. With the 20th overall pick the New Jersey Devils selected the third ranked goalie prospect, Martin Brodeur. Also ranked ahead of Brodeur was Felix Potvin.

          I’m not saying this because I think McDonald is better than Demko, I don’t. I also don’t think Demko is that much better than McDonald, it’s way too early to tell who will be better. Goalies are voodoo. Demko posted better numbers in a much more defensive league, while the Q is really offensive.

          • The GREAT Walter White

            Thank you for the 1990 history lesson.

            I have quoted that draft fiasco many times myself on FN.

            In the context of: “The MacDonald pick could haunt us worse than the Kidd pick…”

            Good times!


  • Derzie

    He’s a Brian Burke associate. Brad will need to tread lightly and firmly. Do the interview to appease Burke and then kindly explain how Randy is the ‘here’s what we don’t want, Burkie’ interviewee.

  • supra steve

    Everything I’ve heard from BT supports my belief that he will be hiring a younger coach who is an advocate of new stats, etc. Carlyle just does not fit that. I don’t think Boudreau does either.

    Who should be at the top of BT’s list? That’s well above my pay grade. I wish him luck.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Maybe Randy gets an interview as a favour to Burkie, but that’s probably it.

    Dear Baby Jesus, let that be it.

    I heard Burkie on the radio yesterday say that Tre won’t be interviewing any coaches right now because he is off doing his patriotic duty, but Burkie and Connie might talk to a couple of the young guys. I took that to mean they might pre-interview some AHL types, but no decisions will be made immediately. Hopefully Bruce waits for us.

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    Meh. If I were a Grade 11 English teacher, I’d grade this blog post a C-

    Your arguments for why the Randy Carlye won’t be the next Flames coach basically boil down to “It doesn’t make sense”. If I were grading this, I’d write “EXPLAIN” in red and then circle it.


    “We’ve got enough fires to deal with as is (side note: All our thoughts and prayers are with those affected in northern Alberta by these devastating fires).”

    I’m sure you meant well with this line, but c’mon. Don’t compare a fan’s anxiety about their team hiring a crappy coach to the anxiety felt by thousands who have been displaced and/or have lost everything they’ve had.

  • Mike Knox

    It’s Treliving’s team day-to-day, not Burke’s. The connection to Carlyle makes no sense whatsoever. On top of that, Burke’s Carlyle loyalty backfired in Toronto and both guys were made quick work of. Boudreau should be the number 1 priority now and always. Herculean coaching effort made Anaheim the best team in hockey after Christmas, despite a start almost as bad (or worse depending on who you ask) than Calgary’s.

  • RKD

    Hallelujah, the last guy we need here is Carlyle. He’s got a lot of experience, 1 division title, 3 second place finishes and 1 Stanley Cup. Guess what, Hartley also had a Stanley Cup, 6 division title, 4 1st place finishes but Carlyle and Hartley’s best days are long behind them. Too much inconsistency and their old school demanding ways are starting to go the way of the dinosaur kinda like the enforcer who used to play 2 minutes a game. Randy would be a bad choice to make as head coach of this team.

  • ClayBort

    I don’t think this is to “appease Burke” at all. Burke also gave a very pro-possession interview yesterday. Carlyle reached out to the Sharks when they had their vacancy and expressed interest as he wants to find another coaching gig. I assume this is much of the same.

    My guess is the staff interviews Carlyle as a professional courtesy, and maybe again later as an assistant, but it won’t extend too far past that. Trust the management team’s comments yesterday.

    I found it interesting that McKenzie suggested the Flames may want to go with a first time head coach. Burkie commented that the idea was very possible.

    • Parallex

      “Burke also gave a very pro-possession interview yesterday.”

      … And today he spewed forth his usual Black’n’Blue top two line-bottom two line drivel. Burke is a broken record on a record player that needs to be replaced with MP3 and new Ipod. Unfortunately we’ll need to get rid of Ken King and his pseudo-sexual fetish for ol’timey hockey guys first.

        • Christian Roatis

          They’re actually on the same page in terms of wanting bigger players and a more physical style of play.

          Though Treliving is one of the most progressive managers in all of hockey, otherwise.

  • cjc

    Of all the reasons not to hire Carlyle, I think his age is the least of our worries.

    Boudreau is 61. Ken Hitchcock is 64. Claude Julien, Darryl Sutter, Joel Quennville are all 57 years old. Barry Trotz and Mike Babcock are a relatively cherubic 53. Dave Tippett is 54, Lindy Ruff is 56.

    There are definitely some good coaches under 50 too, but it doesn’t seem a major barrier to success.

    • Christian Roatis

      Age was my supporting argument for why he may not change his ways. He’s been in them for so long, people at that age don’t tend to revolutionize themselves.

    • MattyFranchise

      For NHL management and coaching the trend has always been kind of ageist. The older guy is more likely to get the job for whatever reason. It’s been changing over the last few years but it’s not changing all that quickly.

      • Christian Roatis

        Sport LOVES throwing around the term “experience”.

        Of course, no one seems to care if all that experience is trash, as long as it exists. The NHL does seem to slowly be moving away from just recycling coaches over and over again. Slowly.