Essentially, what I will argue this week is that the Flames should hire Denzel. Maybe Remember the Titans Denzel, or Training Day Denzel, or Man on Fire Denzel, hell, even Philadelphia Denzel. Really, any Denzel would know not to play Colborne in the top six in my opinion.
Here at Flames Nation, we’ve discussed the Flames coaching search at length already, and most recently here by Ari. But today we are turning the controls over to you. Let’s find out who you would hire, and it doesn’t have to: a) be a name already associated with the Flames or b) make sense. As long as you want him or her to coach the Flames, I want to hear it.
WHO ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
I think it is clear that coaches often receive an undue share of blame for defeats and praise for victories, and this is coming from someone who would have blamed Bob Hartley for raising gas prices during his tenure with the Flames. However, knowing how to use the talent at your disposal seems to be one of the most crucial elements of a successful team in the modern NHL.
That being said, sometimes: teams with good coaches have bad seasons, bad coaches coach good teams to great success, bad coaches coach bad teams to the second round of the playoffs, and even good coaches guide good teams into early playoff exits.
With this in mind, the measure and value of a ‘good’ coach seems exceptionally difficult to tease out of the results of any one season in particular. Finding a good coach, one who is able to put his players in the best position to succeed most often, is a difficult and very important task, especially given the razor-thin margins separating a playoff team from a lottery team.
So, how are the Flames doing in their search? I won’t get into every name associated with the Flames because there are simply too many at this point. Let’s start with the most recent news. Yesterday afternoon, Darren Dreger noted that Utica Comets head coach Travis Green is definitely in the mix for the Flames head coaching vacancy, as was Vancouver Canucks assistant and former Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan:
Travis Green also in running for head coaching job in Calgary. Canucks asst, Glen Gulutzan still being considered as well.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 31, 2016
Many have identified Green as one of the preferred options for Calgary so far, though Gulutzan’s NHL resume might help his chances as well. However, Green has also been linked to the vacancy in Anaheim and if the choice is left to Green, Calgary might be in tough competing with Anaheim’s roster.
Personally, I don’t know a heck of a lot about Gulutzan as a coach during his time in Dallas, only that it seems that the Stars had a pretty ugly-looking roster during those seasons and he wasn’t able to lift them out of the mud. Is Gulutzan your man? Do you know something we don’t about him?
Former Oilers coach Ralph Krueger and current Devils assistant Geoff Ward are two names that we discussed earlier and both are especially intriguing given their body of work so far. Ward is a journeyman, who has found success last season running New Jersey’s powerplay. Do you like Ward for this spot? Is his work on special teams enough to earn him the job given Calgary’s astoundingly bad teams play last season?
Krueger, the same man who was unceremoniously fired over freaking Skype by the Hockey Geniuses to the North, had a fairly ‘successful’ season in Edmonton, though that isn’t exactly a glowing endorsment. Krueger is generally considered to be a smart guy and I wouldn’t hate him as a Flames coach, if only as a chance to further annoy dirt city if he is successful in Calgary.
Come with me to the darkest timeline. The Flames are also rumoured to be at least considering Randy Carlyle, former helmsman and noted toaster hater of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Everything about this story is just… exhaustingly bad, so the source of the most recent update is fitting:
Former Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has interviewed twice for the coaching job in Calgary. The Flames have been in no hurry to name a replacement for Bob Hartley.
Is this as bad as it seems? Do you know something about ol’ Randy that we don’t? Is there any way that he could work for Calgary? Is Flames Nation too harsh on that amicable Jack O’ Lantern? Are we nice people? Do I have bad breath?
One of the most distinctive parts of the head coach search in Calgary seems to be the complete and utter absence of good information regarding who is being seriously considered. Perhaps it is because the Flames themselves are truly undecided at this point, or maybe the Flames run a tight ship. Either way, it’s hard to know how much credence to give any one specific rumour.
So, as names continue to fly around, I have asked a lot of you the reader, but I want to know what you think. Are there some names you haven’t seen linked to the Flames that you’d like to see in Calgary? Mike Yeo? Brad Shaw? Kirk Muller? Jebb Fink perhaps? Let me know in the comments!