136Glen Gulutzan
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports

The case for firing Glen Gulutzan, Part 1: Why he should never have been hired

As we approach the trade deadline, the Flames find themselves in an all out battle as they try to secure a playoff spot. It has taken a good run to get into contention: the Flames have gone 11-3-4 in the last 18, earning 26 of a possible 36 points. The run featured a seven-game win streak, but also a six-game losing streak.

I have been an advocate of the Flames making a coaching change since early last season, roughly 120 games ago. With the team in the thick of a playoff race, a change at this point in the season is unlikely to happen now. That does not change the need for the an evaluation of the team’s performance under Glen Gulutzan once the season ends.

Over the next two days, I will lay out the case for the Flames to make an offseason coaching change. Then, next week, I will dig into some of the numbers that may explain why the Flames are struggling.

We will start by looking at how we arrived at having Gulutzan behind the bench, and why his hiring made little sense in the first place.

Thank you FlamesNation, and in particular Ari, for this opportunity, and your guidance. Let’s begin!

The anatomy of a coaching change

On May 3, 2016, the Flames fired Bob Hartley, citing that he had taken the team as far as he could. It was a late decision, coming three weeks after the season had ended. 

The Flames appeared to have have parted ways with Hartley in a move to hire Bruce Boudreau. There was almost no indication the Flames were thinking of firing Hartley, and he was was fired four days after Boudreau was let go by Anaheim. Coaching decisions are usually made within days of a season ending; Boudreau was no exception, being let go two days after being eliminated from the playoffs. At the time of his firing, he was the fastest coach in NHL history to 400 regular season wins, doing it in just 663 games. In his 681 regular season games over nine seasons, he had a win percentage of 0.659, best all time for NHL coaches with more than 240 games behind the bench.

If the Flames did not covet Boudreau, then sadly, Brad Treliving is in the wrong business. Boudreau had won his division and made the playoffs in eight of the nine years he had coached in the NHL, and the Flames had struggled for more than two decades to consistently make the playoffs. It would have been a perfect fit.

Unfortunately for the Flames, Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher created a coaching vacancy in February 2016 by firing Mike Yeo, and had neither committed to, nor released interim coach John Torchetti. Fletcher knew he could take his time to find a coach once he decided he was making a change, but he also knew he had to be ready immediately if the right guy became available.

When Boudreau was fired by Anaheim, the Flames were neither ready, nor had they even decided they wanted to make a coaching change. Fletcher was first in line, and Boudreau was hired by Minnesota on May 7, 2016, before the door had even closed as Hartley left.

As far as veteran coaches go, another option would have been Guy Boucher. He was hired by Ottawa on May 8, 2016, just five days after Hartley was let go. The Senators had created a vacancy two days after the regular season ended. If the Flames were looking at hiring Boucher, he too was gone before they had a chance to interview him.

After missing out on Boudreau and Boucher, the Flames may have had a third veteran coach, Randy Carlyle, in their sights. He was interviewed, and was in the conversation. According to Ryan Pike, on June 13, 2016, Treliving revealed that Carlyle, Gulutzan, and Capitals assistant Todd Reirden were the three finalists. Anaheim signed Carlyle the next day. Three days later, on June 17, the Flames hired Gulutzan. If the Flames wanted Boudreau, missed out on Boucher, and fell short in signing Carlyle, they may have been better off holding onto Hartley, but they had already pulled the trigger.

All appearances are that the Flames fired Hartley to get a proven veteran coach with a history of playoff appearances, namely Boudreau. So how in the world do you end up with Glen Gulutzan?

Gulutzan’s record as an NHL head coach

Let’s take a look at Dallas before, during, and after Gulutzan was head coach of the Stars.

Dallas Stars, season summary (data from NHL.com)

Season Coach Games Wins Losses OTL Points GF GA GF-GA Standings Playoffs?
2010-11 Marc Crawford 82 42 29 11 95 227 233 -6 9th Missed
2011-12 Glen Gulutzan 82 42 35 5 89 211 222 -11 10th Missed
2012-13 Glen Gulutzan 48 22 22 4 48 130 142 -12 11th Missed
2012-13 (adjusted to 82 games) 82 38 38 6 82 222 243 -21 11th Missed
2013-14 Lindy Ruff 82 40 31 11 91 235 235 +7 8th Qualified

Clearly, Dallas was a worse team under Gulutzan when compared to the team before and after his tenure. They earned 95 points the season before he arrived, and in almost any other season, would have made the playoffs. Under his leadership, the team deteriorated to 89, then to the equivalent of 82 in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season. After Gulutzan was fired, the Stars rebounded to 91 points, and qualified for the postseason. 

But the underlying goal stats were not good either:

  • Goals for fell during his tenure, and rebounded after he was fired.
  • Goals against showed an initial improvement in his first season, but imploded in his second season, and improved dramatically after he left.
  • Goal differential deteriorated during his tenure.
    • Dallas went from -6 before his arrival to -12 in the shortened second season Gulutzan was coach, twice as bad in only 48 games. This equates to -21 prorated to a full season.
    • The team was +7, a +28 improvement in goal differential (when equating 2013 into a full year), in the season after he was fired.

Why would the Flames, a team that struggled to make the playoffs year after year, hire someone who had never made the playoffs as a head coach at the NHL level? Why would a team hire a coach that had points, goals for, goals against, and goal differential tank during his time behind the bench, and improve dramatically after he left?

In Gulutzan’s defense, Dallas was a team in transition during his first year. Lost at the time of his arrival were Brad Richards, 77 points, and James Neal, 39 points. The major addition was Michael Ryder, who came in and put up 62. Remaining were Loui Eriksson and Mike Ribeiro, second and third in scoring with 73 and 71 points respectively, and an emerging young star, Jamie Benn, with 56 points, tied with linemate Brendan Morrow. In Gulutzan’s first year, Benn posted a team-high points per 60 of 2.95. His 63 points were second on the team, behind Eriksson at 71.

Gulutzan had a much improved roster to work with in year two. Ray Whitney, Derek Roy, and a younger Jaromir Jagr came in, replacing all and more of the offensive power lost in 2011-12. Benn’s production fell to 2.43 points per 60, however, he did lead the team in scoring. Eriksson and Whitney were tied for second.

A blockbuster trade occurred after Gulutzan left. In a seven-player deal, Dallas shipped out Eriksson and brought in Tyler Seguin. Benn had 79 points, 3.06 per 60, Seguin 83 and 3.26. You would think incoming coach Lindy Ruff had a much improved group to work with. That was not necessarily the case.

Dallas gave up their leading scorer during Gulutzan’s tenure, Eriksson, in the trade. Gone too were Roy, Jagr, and Ryder, three of the team’s top five in points per 60. While the 2013-14 Stars had an elite top two on the first line, the supporting cast was weaker. In 2012-13, six players were above 2.30 points per 60. In 2013-14 after Gulutzan left, only Benn and Seguin were better than 2.00.

Dallas Stars, 5v5 statistics

Perhaps the hiring was based on advanced statistics and 5v5 play. After all, the Flames hired Gulutzan to improve possession, in the belief that process would improve the team.

Dallas Stars, 5v5 stats (data from Natural Stat Trick)

Season Coach Games CF CA CF% Rank GF GA GF-GA
2010-11 Marc Crawford 82 3248 3505 48.10 24th 143 141 +2
2011-12 Glen Gulutzan 82 3585 3611 49.82 14th 144 150 -6
2012-13 Glen Gulutzan 48 1990 2083 48.86 19th 92 91 +1
2012-13 (adjusted to 82 games) 82 3400 3558 48.86 19th 157 155 +2
2013-14 Lindy Ruff 82 3704 3632 50.49 14th 158 149 +9

In Gulutzan’s first season, Corsi improved, despite a weaker forward group. Much of the improvement was lost in his second season. Dallas never achieved a Corsi above 50% while Gulutzan was at the helm.

Increased Corsi for events only translated into one more goal for in his first year, going from 143 to 144. In year two, goals for jumped to the equivalent of 157, but it did this despite having the equivalent of 185 fewer Corsi for events compared to year one. The Stars’ shooting percentage of 9.47% was well above the NHL average. An unsustainable shooting percentage appears to have been ignored in Gulutzan’s hiring, but somehow was a critical fault of Hartley’s positive results in Calgary during the 2014-15 playoff season.

Corsi against was worse under Gulutzan when compared to before he arrived, and this translated into a defensive disaster. Goals against went from 141 before he arrived to 150 in season one and the equivalent of 155 in season two, 14 more goals against during his time as head coach. After he left, the team improved, goals against dropping to 149. Goal differential was better before he arrived and after he left.

Dallas Stars, special teams

To top it off, special teams were not so special in Dallas, much like has been the story in Calgary.

Season Coach PP GF PP GA PP% PP Rank PK GA PK GF PK% PK Rank Net GF-GA
2010-11 Marc Crawford 53 15 18.0 14th 56 10 80.1 23 -8
2011-12 Glen Gulutzan 31 3 13.5 30th 52 5 82.8 13 -19
2012-13 Glen Gulutzan 26 3 17.0 18th 34 2 81.0 17 -9
2012-13 (adjusted to 82 games) 44 5 17.0 18th 58 3 81.0 17 -16
2013-14 Lindy Ruff 46 5 15.9 23rd 49 8 81.4 21 0

The Dallas powerplay for the two years Gulutzan was the coach ranked 29 out of 30 at 14.9%, and the penalty kill was 18th at 82.2%. The goal differential has to be the biggest concern. Special teams under Gulutzan were a detriment at -19 in the 2011-12 season and an adjusted -16 in 2012-13.  Some of this speaks to penalties drawn and penalties taken – discipline – but is also a function of special team efficiency.

All this sounds far too familiar to Flames fans, being at or near the bottom of the league in PP efficiency, average or worse penalty killing, and a team that at times lacks discipline. 

Conclusions on hiring Glen Gulutzan based on his head coaching record in Dallas

While I was concerned that a guy being hired as a possession coach had never achieved a Corsi of over 50% as a head coach in the NHL, and had his second year Corsi drop, rather than improve, the fact that the season after he left, the Stars posted a 50.49 CF% led me to the conclusion he was not a very good coach. I stand by this based on the team’s point drop, win/loss record, goal differential, the fact he had never made the playoffs as a head coach, the deterioration of his team after he arrived, and the improvement after he left. My biggest concern was that rather than a progression, Gulutzan’s second season was worse than his first with Dallas, despite an improved roster.

I decided I would give Gulutzan the benefit of the doubt and a chance to prove he was a capable NHL coach as 2016-17 began. After game 16 that season, a 4-2 loss to the Rangers, sitting in 29th, with the league’s worst win percentage of 0.344, I had seen enough.

  • Just.Visiting

    Great job on the article, SkylarDog, and a tip of the hat to Ari and FN for providing the opportunity.

    I loved the way that the Flames played for Hartley and how he conducted himself with the press and public. On the other hand, I struggled with some of his player usage choices, some of the strategy choices and had heard some very negative things about how it was like to play for him. On balance, I supported a change.

    I had an open mind about GG, and liked that he was saying the right things and seemed to be a good communicator.

    How has that turned out?

    Whatever I may have thought about Hartley’s team, I knew that I was always going to see an entertaining game. I certainly can’t say that about this team.

    Where GG has ultimately lost me, as noted above by another fan, though, is on player usage, particularly with respect to the stubborn approach to a PP that obviously was not working, the apparent bias towards certain veterans and the overuse of Smith. Some of the players, most notably Brodie and Bennett also seem to have regressed significantly.

    The newly revamped PP with Dougie on the first unit bombing away from the point and Stone on the second doing the same look like those moves could finally turn the PP around. The real question is why TB needed to be injured before those moves were made, when moving Dougie to the first unit was noted so many times by so many for so long.

    As I noted before, no one in the workplace wakes up one morning and suddenly transforms into someone completely different. However far this team may go this year, it is my belief that it will be despite GG, not because of him.

    I can’t help but wonder how the team would have fared if we had gone with Green instead.

    • JusAFlamer

      that is one of the biggest things many have stated over and over and over.
      that the changes just dont come until GG is forced into it.
      really a PP that sucked that bad for that long and it took an injury to get them to shake things up? (almost 1/2 the season it been a stinker)

      looking forward to off season, GG rope must be short by now

    • BAN36FROMPP

      100 percent correct. A former flames player who has a son that was on my son’s team last year confirmed that Hartley was a POS. Regardless GG needs to be fired.

      • nijames

        That is 150% correct. Had a family member playing for the Flames and Hartley and he was an awesome guy away from the rink but when it came to coaching not a player on the team respected him. Old school coaches like Hartley and Keenan don’t work in the NHL these days.

  • Guest

    Quick drive by on this… Fire the coach has long been a weak sports narrative because its easy to cherry pick data and take opinions.

    First of all, well done for putting the effort in even though I disagree with several contexts of measurements and sample volatility. Its not easy – kudos.

    Second, the Flames under GG are a borderline dominant 5v5 team. They are a young team that makes some terrible lineup choices (Brouwer, Glass, Bouma, Russell… – side note – dominant game against the Islanders and no Brouwer???).

    In the end, special teams is an abomination. Assuming we all agree the high end offensive talent is here (D corps, JG, SM, MT, and more) and we generate 5v5 offensive chances at an elite rate, why does our special teams stink so terribly.

    I’m not a coach buster but Cameron is an absolute goner after this year. GG is partly responsible for giving him the rope, but really aside from weird lineup choices and the Bennett/Brodie regressions, Calgary is a very good/borderline elite team destroyed by horrendous special teams.

    • The GREAT WW

      What’s the pay?
      At my age I don’t fight or write for free….

      A sneak peak: I don’t think Backlund sucks (most nights…), I think he is a good 3C on a contending team and we should pay and play him as such….otherwise trade him before the deadline.

      WW

  • Skylardog

    After going through the process, we should all be grateful for what the writers do to provide this site for us.

    Thanks for the support and kudos for all who choose to disagree. That’s what makes the site work, a wide range of opinions.

    A couple of things.

    This has been 2.5 weeks in the making, and a ton has changed in that time. You can set up an article ahead, and then it can all change over night. I suggested to Ari as the Flames got on a bit of a role, that we postpone it. She disagreed and asked that I push on.

    Part 2 will continue to lay out the case, the meat will be next week. Part 3 is already mostly done. Just the prospect of a Smith injury could have an impact on it.

    As for the info. I do not think Hartley should of stayed. There are no coaches out there to hire, however I do think Minny played it well in 2016 when they went interim.

    Thanks FlamesNation and Ari!

    • Stu Cazz

      You are in essence suggesting a loser Oiler model of frequent changing of coaches….I’m glad you and other posters are not running the organization. BT is a smart man and has not only the acumen but the patience required recognizing a typical NHL season is long and all teams will experience challenges at various times. I think GG was hired with a longer term perspective that many FN posters would like meaning if the team hasn’t shown sustained improvement from year 1 of his contract then decisions will be made in year 2 or 3. Making the playoffs in year 1 despite inconsistent goaltending, having the Flames in the hunt in year 2 I’m afraid does not justify a change. Hiring and firing coaches is not a practice that successful teams employ with Chicago’s past success and Tampa quickly coming to mind….Year 3 will be critical for the organization in determining if GG is the coach that can take the Flames to another level…not before.

      • JusAFlamer

        3 years to show they belong behind the bench.
        are you being sarcastic or serious?

        When GG only shows emotion because his job was on the line (just before the 7 game streak) and when he has come right out and said he wants to play for overtime (not for the win), when he continuously makes baffling moves on all aspects (ice-time/line matches at home/PP/PK etc etc etc)

        Too late in the season now for a change but i sure as heck hope there is one in off season. (the 3rd period “shell” is ridiculous too)

      • BendingCorners

        Stu: you may be correct that BT will not fire GG till after year 3 but I believe Bylsma was available and has the experience necessary to run a bench in the NHL. Like Skylardog I’m not clear to this day why BT preferred GG to Bylsma and presumably others. Maybe GG is improving his bench management and maybe he will improve enough to be worth keeping during a Cup run; that doesn’t solve the mystery of why he was hired in the first place. Not even BT can be credited with that degree of foresight.

        • Stu Cazz

          Good comment BendingCorners…however coaches are judged on overall record for winning not day to day details such as line combinations, apparent lack of emotion, etc. If the wrong decisions are made with the detail I mentioned then that will result in losses and potential termination. GG is 1/2 way through his contract term and he has made the playoffs in year 1 and has the Flames in a very good position to make the playoffs in a very competitive environment in year 2. That is not justification for firing especially when BT takes a longer term focus. As well player usage and line combinations may involve other factors beyond the coaches decision…the ugly business side of hockey always comes into play i.e. Brouwer. With regards to your comment on the mystery of why GG was hired you can bet a very detailed evaluation process approved by ownership is in place that you and I will never have privy too and not all fans will be in agreement.

          • BendingCorners

            You may be right – it might be the summer of 2019 before BT makes a coaching change. Not convinced he should wait that long.
            I went back and found a BT quote about what he was looking for in 2016. “To me it’s not as much about where you’ve coached, but what you’ve built and what your piece was in growing it,” said Treliving. “It’s being involved in winning programs.”
            By that criteria I really don’t understand the hiring.

      • Glensgel

        Holly crap I hope there is not a year three of this clown! The difference is Tampa and Chicago have good coaches. This was a bad hire by BT. I don’t think I can handle year 3 of Glens insane hot garbage.

  • buts

    How GG is still behind the bench is insanity. Zero wins in regulation and exhibition against the coilers should be enough ….buts there a mountain of reasons to let the coach go.

  • Cheeky

    Great job Skylardog! I get the idea that GG was hired due to a great interview and a 2nd chance at head coaching. My problem with the hiring has to do moreso with experience elsewhere. He had average success in Ahl, he was assistant coach on horrible teams in Van, neither dominating in special teams he was responsible for. Those were red flags for me at the time, whereas Reirdon dominated his powerplay, on very good Washington teams. Either way I kept an open mind but hiring Cameron confirmed my doubts.
    I believe another reason for his hiring was BT wanted someone with less experience than him (someone less willing to argue points which I think Hartley did, remember Hartley has won before and BT was a rookie GM). I also believe that’s why GG hired Cameron compared to others with more successful coaching resumes. Good leaders surround themselves with even better leaders to make them successful, poor leaders try to make themselves look the best at all times…
    I think with this very good roster (on paper), we should be not only in the running for top clubs but dominating games. Neither is happening and this points to coaching….

    • BendingCorners

      Not sure the experience comment is fair. The boss is always the boss and no employee can get away with ignoring that boundary. I suspect BH might have been a bit full of himself after winning that trophy. Just a guess though.

      • Cheeky

        Experience is refering more with comfort level. If GG had hired say Mark Crawford as assistant, he may be worried that players would listen to Mark over him (I know assistants buy into coaches game plan but some think like this). Cameron was a safe choice for GG, he didn’t have to fear him taking over. Same goes for a rookie GM. Now I’m not suggesting this was the case for BT, but GM’s have egos (they wouldn’t be in their positions if they didn’t) and having a more “submissive” coach when starting out helps…

    • Guest

      We literally just dominated the Islanders yesterday, and looked as good or better than Nashville and Vegas two weeks ago. Hockey is pretty f’ing random is the short term and special teams matter!!

      BTW, if you want to look at a team hugely over reacting to special team disaster, look north. Edmonton is a decent 5v5 team with 87% PP + SH%!! Thats almost 1 goal per game against on special teams losses. I mean they have wasted talent and cap space, but that isn’t a bad team that is roasted on bad assistant coaching. And haven’t repaired it.

      Most of the best teams by points are well over 100% in this category. We will see what it means in the playoffs. Historically not much.

    • nijames

      it was a great article but if the Flames were genuinely looking at hiring Boucher then thank god they hired GG. Boucher is the one coach in the NHL that has no right to be a head coach, he is so brutal. GG is a decent coach and BT is one of the best GM’s in the game so he will make the right decision when the time comes. Have 100% confidence in BT.

  • Puckhead

    This article makes for a great conversation piece but that’s all it is. If the Flames miss the postseason or are handily ousted in the first round then GG is a goner. However, if they put up a good fight in the first round or push deeper into the playoffs then GG stays.

    BT will be walking on thin ice though and better make sure that he finds a marquee coach if GG is ousted.

    PS I blame Hartley for the Baertschi fiasco. I know that the GM made the trade but the relationship between the player and coach was toxic and a trade had to be made.

    • Off the wall

      At least it’s got our members talking about it. That’s kinda the premise of a blog right Puck?

      I agree, we do something in the playoffs (aren’t there yet) this article will be a fading memory.

      However, what if we don’t make postseason? Or perhaps we do, but are ousted in the 1st round again?

      If a veteran coach becomes available with a track record, are we in a position to ignore that?

      If nothing else, it provides us a platform for further consideration.

      I appreciate the members who disagreed, but were respectful of the article.

      Same goes for anyone who is willing to state their reasoning behind why we should keep Gulutzan coaching the Flames.

      • Puckhead

        GG is a lightening rod for conversation on this blog. At times I am miffed that they passed over Skylardog, a Calgary guy who used to play for the Buffalos in his day (if memory serves me correctly). I don’t always agree with Skylar but I do believe that he wants the best for his home team.

  • Frank the Nose 👃

    Seriously 😒 what the efff !! That’s all we need now that Smith is done more Negative outlooks towards players and coaches like Flames were last place or something come on FN be better . It old soooo old . GG this GG that . This player that player blah blah .where s the articles about how Awesome of a team we have and a whats looks like many good years to come ,but yeah let’s bring down the team and coach with what I would say as Trolling !!!!!! Even the writers but yeah you go now .

    • Frank the Nose 👃

      Carl says ” We got Tkachuk “!!! !!!! Enough said .lots to look forward too .just imagine how good this kid will be by say 24 lol lots to be positive about .its called synchronization look 👀 it up let’s flow positive energy and believe and have faith .🤓

  • Greg

    I’m pretty ambivalent to GG either way. But I’m also pretty ambivalent to the impact of a coach in general. There’s a few real top-notch guys out there, a few terrible ones, and everyone else is clustered pretty much in the middle.

    GG might be somewhere in the bottom half of that middle cluster, but unless you are making a clear upgrade, or there’s a clear problem* that needs to be addressed (see Hartley comments), you’re just shuffling deck chairs.

    * on that note, did anyone catch the comment in GG’s press scrum today? Asked about the lineup for tomorrow, he said something like “I know Tre likes to get that set the day before, but I prefer to sleep on it and tell the guys at morning skate.” The disagreement with Tre on setting lineups was completely unprompted, so the fact that’s what came to GG’s mind when he answered could be a hint they aren’t entirely on the same page.

  • Iggyfan2001

    I don’t think any of us should be giving Treliving crap about not hiring Boudreau since none of us know all the facts. We all forget that even though he was fired by the ducks, Boudreau was still under contract with them. That means the flames had to get permission from the ducks just to talk to him, let alone hire him. Even though the ducks fired Boudreau, I’m sure they realized he was a good coach, particularly in the regular season, and didn’t want him working his magic on a divisional rival. Considering Boudreau’s track record and the fact the flames didn’t even talk to him, the only logical conclusion is that’s what probably happened. (Or Treliving is actually a bad GM but I don’t think that’s true.)

    • Greg

      There would be no point to having hockey blogs if we weren’t allowed to give GMs crap despite not knowing the facts. That’s why we’re here – so we can sound off on things we know nothing about! 😛

  • Pete_R

    I’m neutral on GG (I don’t think he is terrible but I wouldn’t be bothered if he got axed), however I view the coaching choices at the time differently. I’m not as familiar with Reirden, but the other coaches mentioned (Boudreau, Carlyle, Boucher) all have reputations for being hard-asses. After Hartley I don’t think bringing in another old school coach would have greatly improved the situation. And none of those three have greatly improved their current teams.

    Not a defence of Gulutzan, but I don’t think those guys would have done any better, imo.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    First I’d like to give a shout out to Ari for providing a platform to Skylardog to present (and mentor) his Article. Secondly a shout out to Skylardog for being a passionate Flames fan whom is willing to do the leg-work and more to come here on FN and put forth his findings and philosophical hockey opinions on a very much debated topic here on FN. Very Well Done Sir! I can’t wait to see and look forward to the other parts to this analysis of a very hot button topic, to me its been Way Over Due as a discussion point for this team. Cheers and Thanks FN.

  • freethe flames

    An old saying is”All coaches were hired to be fired” and this will at some point be true of GG. If it is during the off season(b/c we don’t make the playoffs) I think you have to consider firing BT as well; GG was his hire, he has made moves to build the kind of team GG wants and he went all in too soon and mortgaged the future for Haminoc.

  • YWC

    As Elliot pointed out, there are bunch of okay to good coaches and so few great coaches. If you go down the list, I would have may be 5 or 6 coaches I like to have in place in GG. The others mostly meh given how coaches really have an impact on the team. (spoiler: not as much we think or at least disputeable)

    GG for me is a okay to good coach. And most of all he is a young coach. He is also learning as he goes. May be give him some time to develop his coaching skill? He has improved in some of the areas from his first year.

  • Squishin

    I’m late to this (busy day yesterday) but thank you for the detailed analysis of what many of us are coming to realize: this coach is not very good.
    To those of you saying that a coach doesn’t matter that much, I say look at Vegas. It’s not a coincidence that everyone’s castoffs are suddenly playing like superstars. Just look at how efficiently they work together. The Flames do not have that kind of cohesion, and the blame for that falls directly on the coaching staff.
    Congratulations on the new gig, Skylardog! I look forward to reading more of your work. I appreciate this blog quite a lot; it’s by far the most thoughtful Flames talk on the internet.

    • YWC

      As for Vegas I believe there are a lot of other things going for them in addition to coaching. Dont get me wrong I think Gallant is one of the better coaches and some great coaches have an impact. The question is how many great coaches are available and how much does say a good coach make a difference from an okay coach in a hockey game. The answer is we dont know bc hockey is more complex. Even great coaches can be a negative in some circumstances and an okay coach can be a great fit in right circumsamtances as well.

      The point is GG has his quirks, but unless there is a significantly better alternative, a coaching change probably does not matter as much we think it does.