Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard hired as Assistant Coaches

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.

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

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.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Wasn’t Cameron the guy who after he got fired chose to respond through the media that Melnyk was a horse’s ass? While fired coaches normally choose the high road after the dirty deed is done, but Cameron went public in answering to the criticism looney Larry leveled at him. That should be worth a point or two in his favour as he isn’t a cookie cutter assistant.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    As for PJ, he certainly spent enough time in the sin bin during his years of minor pro, especially while with the Wings, so I hope that he learned something useful about the PK will being banished.

    Also noted that he has been a career assistant coach. I hope he isn’t one of those assistants who is bitter because he has never been elevated to the top job. Joel Otto has been a career assistant, but that is by choice as he puts family and community as the top of the list. PJ has moved around as an assistant as the work requires, so no Otto comparison here, and at age 51, one wonders if the window of being a head coach in pro hockey has almost closed on him.

  • RKD

    Cameron is brutal and proved it with his failure as a head coach. His results were disastrous. He had success taking over from Paul Maclean 2 seasons ago and getting the Sens to the playoffs but last season they were bad in a lot of areas. A least he’s not calling all the shots, the Jerrad hire seems good and he’s probably picked up some good things from Travis Green.