Some names are emerging in Calgary’s coaching hunt

While we all sit idly waiting for the Calgary Flames to hire a new head coach already, the Province‘s Ben Kuzma out in Vancouver provided a bit of an update this morning with his latest piece. Combined with a few other recent reports, we now have a decent idea of which individuals have interviewed for Bob Hartley’s old job.

From Kuzma (referring to Utica Comets head coach Travis Green):

That list would include Green. The former Ducks centre has reportedly
been interviewed for vacancies in Anaheim and Calgary. Canucks assistant
coach Glen Gulutzan has also interviewed to replace fired Flames coach
Bob Hartley.

The Flames have 10
players 24 years old or younger, five who are 21 or younger and seven
restricted free agents. They have a need for a teacher and
disciplinarian and have interviewed former Edmonton coach Ralph Krueger
and New Jersey assistant coach Geoff Ward. Green turned down an
opportunity to join Mike Johnston as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh in
2014 because of franchise loyalty.

Mike Russo previously reported that Mike Yeo (formerly of the Minnesota Wild) interviewed with Brad Treliving, and Steve Simmons (and Elliotte Friedman) have noted that Randy Carlyle has interviewed as well. In this week’s 30 Thoughts, Friedman wrote that Treliving was likely beginning to pare down his list.

Let’s begin things with a disclaimer: just because somebody was interviewed doesn’t mean they’re a contender, but it also doesn’t mean that they’re not. Of the group of six contenders mentioned – Green, Gulutzan, Krueger, Ward, Yeo and Carlyle – Carlyle seems the least likely to be a fit given his extensive NHL resume and the likelihood that he probably has a very specific notion of what an NHL coach should be. The other five are all relatively inexperienced at the NHL level and could be molded towards a coaching style that Treliving desires.

Treliving is both notoriously secretive and hard-working, and I don’t doubt that he’s talking to everybody he can in regards to improving the hockey club. That said, it probably does mean something that the same five or six names are repeatedly bubbling up from multiple sources.

The end of the coaching search is probably almost upon us.

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  • Jake the Snail

    I would like to see Ward – former Phys ed teacher and took the Bruins to third best PP last season. Flames have more offensive talent than the misfit Bruins so I am sure that Flames can do better than that! Kirk Muller now a Canadiens Associate coach would have been top notch too. Carlyle is not the right fit and would be the most expensive.

  • Craftmatic4.0

    Not sure why there is no love for Carlyle! He played 1000+ games in the NHL, has won a Norris trophy and long coaching resume which includes a cup! One thing that always stood out to me in #14’s book is that he never respected a coach who never played in the league! I would welcome Carlyle to the flames with open arms. He has also had a lot of time of to watch what is going on in the league and reflect. I wonder if just being connected to Toronto has reduced his stock. Please hire Carlyle!

  • Denscafon

    My main concern about the coaching decision is who’s actually making the decision? Burke or BT? So far I think everything BT has said about what the team was lacking has been spot on, especially possession numbers being horrible under Hartley. Burke on the other hand have said some honestly ridiculous things recently which scares the hell out of me. He apparently said at the last Season ticket holder meeting that “Bollig will play more, NO MATTER WHO THE NEW COACH IS”. To me that is scary on so many levels. Burke is pretty much suggesting that he’s overreaching his duties by 2 levels to the point of having a freaking 4th liner being in the line up more often for more size…who also kills possession numbers anytime he touches the ice. I just hope that Burke is just talking big like he always does but is actually letting BT make the final decision as he’s supposed to.

    • Flamethrower

      Why even have a coach if this is the case? I know lets trade Burkie for a sack of pucks. This is the kind of crap that will make me give up my seasons tickets after 25 yrs. Hate to say it because the young guy is a good person but Bollig would be moving down to the minors still in the org. As a catalist for the young prospects moving along in Stocton. Burkies days of beatem up hockey does not fly any more. Tough physical, in your face hockey for sure, thats the game. Speed skill and yes size does matter.
      Yes i know JH, MAJORPANE and a smaller guys will beg to differ.

    • Flamethrower

      Why even have a coach if this is the case? I know lets trade Burkie for a sack of pucks. This is the kind of crap that will make me give up my seasons tickets after 25 yrs. Hate to say it because the young guy is a good person but Bollig would be moving down to the minors still in the org. As a catalist for the young prospects moving along in Stocton. Burkies days of beatem up hockey does not fly any more. Tough physical, in your face hockey for sure, thats the game. Speed skill and yes size does matter.
      Yes i know JH, MAJORPANE and a smaller guys will beg to differ.

    • Hockeyfan

      i can’t agrre more with your statement. Burke has got to go in opinion. what is he doing here? stick to analyzing the cost of nacho cheese and let Tree and his staff make the player decisions. Time to retire and go away Burke.

      • everton fc

        If Everton scoop Koeman from Southampton as their new manager, which seems to be gaining traction, Kreuger might wish to come home. Even as an “associate”. Losing Koeman would really hurt Southampton. Might also send Krueger packing.

        “Maybe”….

        • Burnward

          The fact this guy was chosen to coach the Euro team…and isn’t even a hockey coach anymore should tell us all something about his level of respect within the game.

          Dineen-Kreuger could be good.

          Carlyle can coach though. He just got Toronto’d. Like Kreuger and Renney got Oiler’d.

  • cberg

    From what I’ve seen I’d take Ward.

    I’m hoping this happens soon. The longer it takes, and the more we see of Carlyle types that are the opposite of what BT has outlined, the more it appears that BB is really pushing the agenda. I don’t want to see that happening.

  • Joe Flames

    It could be that BT knows who he wants but the coach is waiting to hear what Anaheim has to offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Calgary announces their hiring right after Anaheim does.
    I hope it is not he case but Anaheim could be a more attractive option for most of these guys.
    On the positive side, if we announce our hiring first you will know that our guy was interested in coming here

  • freethe flames

    I can live with an inexperienced (NHL) over a tired old retread whose experience demonstrates a struggle with possession hockey and difficulty communicating with young players.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Carlyle has a solid winning record in the NHL, won the Stanley Cup, and coached the Toronto Maple Leafs to the playoffs.

    People are making like he’s a complete joke, but he’s won a lot more hockey games than he’s lost.

    He wouldn’t be my first choice, but the man can coach an NHL team.

  • freethe flames

    When they fired BH they made a statement that the status quo was not acceptable. After the firing they have made statements that suggest the type of team they want to build; possession team, special teams improvement(need for more skill up front) and more abrasive. The coaching staff needs to fit these criteria. RC in my mind does not; his time with the Leafs was a possession nightmare. Might he be hired as a consultant or associate coach; maybe.

    In firing BH; BT has now set his brand upon the team and he now has to deliver the needed personal to help build the team he wants. You draft for the long term and take the best BPA when it’s your turn; however draft picks are an asset that can be used to make your team better now, that is what he did last year at the draft when he traded for Hamilton.

    What are the needs of this team? Most of us are in agreement: a starting goalie and help in the top (IMO 2 or 3) six. We are not in agreement as to who. What is true is that there are only a few ways of improving your team now: signing UFA’s but this can be restricted by Salary Cap and that is an issue the Flames face or trading for what you need.

    I have spent a far bit of time looking at the UFA market and IMO we could find help at the goaltending position but cannot find any affordable help upfront. There are guys who might be able to help but they would not fit our salary cap.

    I then went through other teams rosters and looked at 4 criteria as trading partners: cap issues, pending contract issues, Draft pick issues and whether they have players that meet the Flames needs. The most important currency the Flames have at this time is our draft picks,or prospects and some depth NHL players. Here are the teams that IMO should be considered likely trading partners as they meet at least 3 of 4 categories: Ducks (4/4), Hawks (4/4), Av’s (3/4), NYR (4/4), Wild (4/4), SJS (3/4),StL (3/4), Tampa (3/4), and the Cap’s (3/4). Some of these teams are in the window of wanting to win now and may be hard to pry our needs from others may be easier to get help from.

      • freethe flames

        I have put forward some names in the past but they always get blasted and I’m okay with that. At least i put my ideas out there and my rational for them. What about your views? I would love to hear them. You could always go and do some digging. By the way I’m glad I’m not on the Flames management team either but this is a fan’s forum. Also if you don’t think that NHL management goes through discussion like this then you are probably fooling yourself. They also have the assets to help them know way more than I ever pretend to know; fancy stats guys, professional scouts, more scouts, personal viewings, video guys who tear apart players games, sport shrinks etc. So yes; I am not worthy of being on the Flames management team but I sure have fun having an opinion.

        • Hockeyfan

          I am not saying what you wrote is bad. I am asking what it is you are saying. I see some very obvious observations and a list of teams to possibly trade with. That’s all, no offense intended.

          • freethe flames

            In some previous articles I have listed some ideas of who we might target from both the Ave’s(Pickard G and Rantanen young skilled RW) and the Rangers (Kreider, Hayes,Fast and Raanta). I have not really done a list from the others although I think it’s obvious from the Ducks=Andersen. Chicago maybe Shaw. Wild maybe Kuemper if it included a kicker at RW. You can go to the teams sights and see if there is anyone you like better and I would respect your view. WW likes McCarron out of Montreal and after doing some additional work he interests me; I’m just not sure how it would work as IMO it is not an easy fit.

            While I have no experience working as a professional scout I have worked at the college level in the recruiting of prospects(another sport) and the discussion of who to recruit always centers around a few things; team need, players strengths, can they get into school and stay(not worth recruiting hard if the kid can’t get in) as well as other mitigating factors. I have tried to use that experience in thinking about hockey and one of my passions the Flames. It does not make me an expert by any means but I think it gives me some insight to what might be happening in the backroom.

  • RKD

    Carlyle? a brutal taskmaster or another version of Hartley, no thanks. Yeo is basically a Hartley/Carlyle Jr. Gulutuzan? Why? This guy coached Dallas for two seasons and missed the playoffs both times, 4th and 5th place finishes. I’m intrigued by Green he’s been a winner at a lot of levels and doesn’t carry old nhl coaching baggage because he has none.

  • Hockeyfan

    i can tell you are a young person. You know how? You call Carlyle a “brutal taskmaster”. A coach is paid to get the most out of his over payed employees in order for a decent ROI. Should the players just be able to “take it as it comes” or should they be asked to perform up to their potential?

    • RKD

      Define “young”, i’ve been watching hockey over 20 years but i have studied it up an down and know it’s history. Hartley was demanding and Carlyle screaming at our guys isn’t going to motivate them to play better or improve their pk and pp. I don’t see Carlyle as a teacher. His ways are set in stone and he hasn’t adapted imho. Based on what the players told BT in the exit interview was enough to tell you they don’t want/need that here again.

  • One Eyed Jack

    Nobody is saying that Carlyle is not a good coach, he is just not the right coach for this team, and for all the Burkie haters, he is a good hockey man.

  • Dale Denton

    I was all against carlyl until i finally found out it was Ron Wilson I didn’t like. Had them confused for some reason, ex leaf I guess.

    I think that the story of Johnny/mony/bouma being late for practice, needs to be addressed. If Carlyl can sort out the attitude of young privileged players then why not. In all honesty that’s probably what’s gone wrong in Edmonton, no accountability for the young guns.

  • madjam

    You can’t go wrong with Kreuger – a fine tactician and top notch motivational coach -if not the best . He’s very impressive , to bad the Oilers let him get away .

    Kruger is probably even more qualified for upper management than just coaching . Southhampton rise to power in premiere soccer and Swiss team rising to competitiveness as well as tactician for Canada’s Olympic team I believe . I feel that is perhaps one of the reasons Oilers did not give him help near end of season , management felt intimidated he might take one of their jobs and split the old boys club . Could be wrong , except I wonder if they were pulling the sabotage on Chia when he got talked into the Reinhart deal ? If you meet and hear him , the tall lanky well spoken man will leave thinking – man would I have ever loved/wanted to play for that guy . He commands the room and even among upper management . Well qualified to coach , if not overly qualified if you catch the drift .