— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) July 6, 2016
After yesterday’s speculation as to former Ottawa Senators Head Coach Dave Cameron and Utica Comets’ assistant Paul Jerrard it appears the Calgary Flames have made their hiring official. There is rational concern amidst Cameron’s disappointing results, though even more intriguing to this hiring is the now three assistant coaches behind the bench.
Cameron – A Second Chance?
The double hiring raises more questions than answers at this point. To say Dave Cameron’s tenure in Ottawa was anything than a disaster would be an overstatement.
Over the course of last season his Ottawa Senators struggled mightily with some of the most abysmal results with regards to special teams that were rather close to the Calgary Flames. Despite a wealth of capable of offensive talent, this transpired.
And with this latter point specifically it makes little sense given the results that happened in Ottawa.
Talked to Gulutzan this morning. He raved about Dave Cameron’s PP knowledge. Said they’ll be shooting the puck A LOT more.
— Kristen Odland (@Kristen_Odland) July 6, 2016
The Senators’ CF60 at 5v4 last season was 80.54, good enough for 23rd in the league. Their FF60 at 5v4? 57.33, which placed them 27th overall this past season. How about SF60? Well, unfortunately for the Senators under Cameron they were last in SF60 during 5v4 with a meagre 39.85.
Nearly in every statistic on the power play there are concerns and to say that Cameron’s PP knowledge will result in shooting the puck seems comically questionable from Gulutzan. The fact stands that a team with the offensive talent they possessed scored a league-worst 38 PP goals overall doesn’t add up here.
This is a cautionary tale. If you’re trusting Dave Cameron with your power play, you better hope to god he’s learned from his past results and can rectify things. This point is really one of the few silver linings to exist here.
There are justified red flags with this hiring – even if he is simply an assistant coach – and the first few months of next season will be very telling to see if there is improvement overall. The emphasis of improving overall was preached. Let’s hope it happens.
Jerrard: A Man Of Modest Mystery
I chatted with Jerrard in March about the Comets’ PK, which finished 4th in the AHL in 15-16.https://t.co/eFlaq1Q87L
— Ben Birnell (@OD_Birnell) July 6, 2016
If Paul Jerrard is the man in charge of solving the Flames’ penalty killing woes then there is reasonable optimism that he can improve whatever was witnessed in 2015-16. With the Flames’ penalty kill of last season, the team employed a standard high-box formation in most circumstances. The crux of this was the reluctance to adjust to a new system despite the faults that continued.
Moving forward if Jerrard, a former defenseman, can employ a system that benefits from the ability to kill time efficiently while being opportunistic on going up the ice then this could be a potential match made in heaven. Utilizing some new approaches and managing usage to take advantage of OTF (on-the-fly) shift changes may make this a more daunting team overall.
The Calgary Flames now have a complete bench with Martin Gelinas relegated to watching from above and assisting Cameron with forwards. This is a completely new look bench overall, with a seemingly younger vigor working with an increasingly younger team year after year. The pursuit of improvement is incredibly emphasized, but some moves contrast this message.