Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today Sports

Flames fire Glen Gulutzan, other coaches

The Flames dropped some pretty huge and mildly unexpected news this afternoon, firing head coach Glen Gulutzan, and assistants Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard. The news comes following weeks of speculation regarding the coaching staff’s future and on the heels of a disappointing 2017-18 season.

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On this site, we have discussed at some length how the season went for the Flames and whether or not it made sense to move on from Gulutzan. Just this morning, Pat outlined how Gulutzan’s future weighed heavily on the off-season for the Flames. Earlier this month, Ryan detailed how the Flames managed difficult situations throughout the season and, in another story, why the staff might get fired.

Earlier this month, Flames GM Brad Treliving reflected on the 2017-18 season and, perhaps tellingly, did not give an unequivocal vote of confidence for the coaching staff.

During a dour and subdued press conference, Treliving mentioned that blame for the past season was not solely placed on the coaching staff. Essentially, Treliving said that though continuity was an important consideration, ultimately he decided that a move had to be made.

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It was confirmed during the conference that Gulutzan had signed a three-year contract and was indeed fired.

The press conference also confirmed that assistant coach Martin Gelinas, video coach Jamie Pringle, and goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet will all remain with the team.

Many names have begun to swirl around the Flames’ now-vacant spot, including Darryl Sutter and Bill Peters (who has until Friday to opt-out of his deal with the Carolina Hurricanes). Treliving did not indicate if another coach has been selected, though he has a “profile” of his next coach in mind.

Although, Treliving did note that he believed that having experience was “critical” for success in the league. Do with that information what you will.

With regards to the powerplay, Treliving noted that the onus falls mostly on the players and did not specifically mention any concerns with any of the coaching staff in particular, only that the team under-performed all season.

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Repeatedly, Treliving indicated that he believed this decision signalled the “beginning” of the offseason in earnest. So with that, let the offseason begin.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    Meh. Whatever. Still not gonna fix the bottom six or the d or the goaltending. I’m more interested in who the special teams coaches will be and if the head coach gets to pick them. Also interested in a Brouwer buyout, getting rid of Sam and Hathaway and how we’re going to plug the Versteeg/Stajan holes without ruining developing players with too much responsibility too soon.

    But at least Tre went full ass and fired everyone. Now we need someone who’ll NOT listen to the players whine when the whip is cracked.

    So long , Gully, thanks for the decent 5v5. But please, i’ ve believed all this time you were told to play Brouwer, and if you could confirm that now that you’re fired it’d be great!!! If that wasn’t the case..huh.

  • Who is Alberta’s team?

    Thats 1 less thing to cross off the checklist:

    – fire coaches- CHECK
    -find 3 RW
    -find 4 defenceman
    -fire goalie coach
    -fire ahl coach
    -find top line C
    -trade Bennett for Yakupov
    – rip up Lazars extension
    -rip up stones extension
    -rip up brouwers extension
    -recoup some draft picks so flames can have a pick in the top 100
    -see if any takers for leagues worst +-hamonic
    -find tough gritty players
    -find a tough guy who can actually win a fight
    -find #1 and #2 goalie
    -build new arena

    • BiggDogg

      I’d take Stone, Brouwer and Lazar’s extensions over trading Larson for Hall and writing Milan Lucic a fat cheque. Don’t throw stones when you’re in the glass house homie!

    • Hockeysense9393

      Thats 1 less thing to cross off the checklist: (re-write…change of coach…lol)

      – fire coaches- CHECK (absolutely)
      -find 3 RW (Coaches fired = need 1 RW and proper deployment)
      -find 4 defenceman (Coaches fired = fixed)
      -fire goalie coach (Head Coach fired = fixed if allowed)
      -fire ahl coach (Head Coach fired = give AHL coach a better system to use = fixed)
      -find top line C (Monny healthy = fixed)
      -trade Bennett for Yakupov (hahahaha – 1st pick no heart/4th pick at least heart = hahahahaha)
      – rip up Lazars extension (Coaches fired – 13th-14th-15th forward = fixed)
      -rip up stones extension (Coaches fired – that’s all I got = fixed)
      -rip up brouwers extension (coaches fired – see Lazar = fixed)
      -recoup some draft picks so flames can have a pick in the top 100 (We’re not the Oilers lol)
      -see if any takers for leagues worst +-hamonic (Coaches fired = fixed)
      -find tough gritty players (Everybody is looking for them – apparently Lucic is available lol)
      -find a tough guy who can actually win a fight (we demoted the best fighter in the league for a reason)
      -find #1 and #2 goalie (Coaches fired – hopefully means goalie coach fired = fixed)
      -build new arena (Coaches fired = hahahaha j/k. New arenas guarantee wins, right Coilers?)

      So a new coach can and will fix some glaring issues. Hopefully now BT can get a real sense here…

  • Honkydonk

    If Trelivings press conference after this decision doesn’t send off red blinkers in front of your eyes then I don’t know what will.

    It’s blatantly obvious that when it comes to tinge decisions that matter Tre unfortunately fails to execute correctly. He basically held a press conference to say I’m firing the coach but it’s not just his fault it’s the players also but I’m not going to tell you what specific reasoning I used to come to my decision. It’s politics not facts. It’s hindsight and nothing more.

    First of all Tre you hired this coach two years ago after firing Hartley for what exactly? Then you go out and bank all your chips on what you always do Tre “blind faith and hope” nothing in GG’s resume at that time said he’s the man for the job yet what does your arrogance and over confidence do? You hire him anyway. Then the same off season you ridiculously overpay Brouwer yet again “blind faith” not facts and yet again you pooped in your underwear.

    Say what you want Tre but reality is you are the problem. You make the decisions and you simply don’t have the moxie for it. At least in my opinion I can look at your past and what you have done as the indicator as to what you are going to do.

    -You should have pushed Sam in a top 6 role.
    -You should never have given up a whole years worth of draft pics to make up for the evident and lacking depth on this team.

    Seriously! Goodbye Treliving

    • BiggDogg

      Tre failing to execute correctly? He’s saying it is everyone’s fault to be professional. He is showing GG courtesy. No GM is gonna fire a coach and then blatantly disrespect them in the media. Tre may not be perfect but he isn’t a delusional idiot like you paint him out to be.

    • Trevy

      You remind me of reading reviews on a product. People will always spit out everything that went wrong with the product, but never mention the good things. Just a one track mind. Show me a GM that actually hit a home run with every transaction they made. He’s a new GM and will make mistakes, but I believe he’s smart enough to learn from them. He took a few risks, one that’s obvious is hiring GG. However, if you read the reasoning after he hired GG, it was because he interviewed many former people that worked with GG and they all had nothing but glowing reports about him. He did his due diligence of checking out references about him and they all came back positive. Obviously after 2 yrs it became apparent he’s not the right fit for this team and Tre pulled the plug on him. He didn’t wait and as a matter of fact, the panel on TSN even said teams are already calling upon GG. Say what you want about Tre, but he’s also done a lot of positive moves that you conveniently left out or don’t even know about and I fully trust him going forward

      • Honkydonk

        And now you feel the need to personally defend someone “Tre” who has no record of winning.

        Be serious and see how much of what he hasn’t done is luck.

        – Dougie trade never happens if Boston does not choose to move that direction.
        -Mony was drafted by us not his doing.
        -he signed Raymond and Hiller and a trio of other players
        -he paid Bouma too much nd made Bouma the third buy out of his tenure
        -he traded for Eddie Lack are you kidding me?
        -he traded for Hamonic and gave up a whole years worth of draft pics to add players
        -he over paid Frolik
        -he over paid Brouwer
        -he hire a coach in GG with no winning record or reputation that was soft and gutless.
        -he didn’t fire the assistant coaches last year which could have been the difference this year.
        -he drafted Hunter Smith in the second round!!
        -He signed Glass and bought out Bouma
        -he signed the oldest man to ever play an NHL game and he was useless
        – he drafted Sam Bennett “although” I still think Bennett has great upside
        – he signed Michael Stone for $3.5 Million!
        – Kept Anderson in the AHL to let Bartkowski earn a salary
        – He has never addressed our long term goal tending need effectively.

        What he did get he lucked out on or we already had such as Johnny Hockey. Giordano, Mony Backlund, Chucky we drafted but was no brainer,

        Where exactly has even one of his transactions with exception of Dougie make the difference on this team? Who has he signed? Or hired who helped move this team forward? You forget we are top heavy? Doesn’t that tell you his acquisitions suck?

        He’s not the superstar GM you think and if he was we would be in the play offs. If he was we would have draft pics and if he was we wouldn’t have to fire coaches every other year.

        He’s just another guy throwing crap at a wall and hope some sticks.

  • Oil consuming Flames

    Regardless who they hire, they better be given a Mike Babcock kind of contract the gives them 6-8 years to make it clear to the players that the coach will not be fired anytime soon.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Marc Crawford is a strong candidate.
    The Calgary leadership has suggested its eventual hire will have past NHL experience, so Crawford would fit the mold. The 55-year-old has 15 years of NHL head coaching experience and a Stanley Cup on his resume. He worked with Brian Burke previously in Vancouver. Calgary has a history of hiring coaches who were previously there.
    Mike Keenan, Glen Gulutzan.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      NO WAY! Gretzky padded his point totals hugely by playing against this joker. Had USSR players been available to the NHL back then, Crawford would never have made the NHL as a player and possibly not even as a coach.

      For Flame fans who became distracted or even obsessed with Gully’s slick locks, they will find the same hairy sideshow with Crawford and even with Billy Peters and the hairstyle he has sported since he was a ’70s teenager.

  • Hockeysense93

    So Flames canned a motivational coach for failing. Now canned a systems coach for failing. Now can we get a motivational coach with a system?!!? Tippett anyone?!!!!

  • Who is Alberta’s team?

    I once hiked Mt Yamnuska. Therefore I am applying for the head coach job. Apparently Calgary has hit an all time low…. they will
    hire thee most important position on a team based on his hiking abilities lmfao I love this team!

  • buts

    I hate to see anyone lose there job. Why did it take BT so long to fire GG? Same reason he took a long time to fire BH? WE all know the teams problems go beyond the coaching. It was obvious how bad the coaching was in December yet BT wasted a season on procrastinating and ego. MY question is …..is BT the man for the job? THE coyotes are and we’re bad when BT was there….losing is losing. If he hires Willie Desjardins, I’ll get sick. Today’s move smells like a ownership move not GM move. I’m losing confidence in BT big time.

    • Chucky

      BT is obviously a great salesman. His record of signing players to contracts that are less than they would get on the open market is very consistent. Experience in industry tells me that he is selling himself up the food-chain just as aggressively as he sells signing team friendly contracts to players. It is difficult to determine how many mistakes a guy like this is allowed but he is definitely at the end of his string.

    • Franko J

      Yes the coaching is only the tip of the iceberg with myriad of challenges facing this team. Still many holes to fill if this team wants to be competitive come next year. After watching the past week of playoff hockey, sorry to say but the Flames are nowhere close with the current roster. I just think that there is not enough players in this team that hate losing. The biggest obstacle the new coaches will be facing come next season is repairing the shattered confidence this team displayed towards the end of the season.

      • Skylardog

        I think we will be surprised with what a coach that understands roles, line combinations, player management, and taking away time and space from the opposition can do with the guys we have.

        Shore, Lazar, Hath are a good foundation for a fourth line. Backs line is the third (without Tkachuk – may I suggest Klimchuk, he suits the role). That leaves Janks, Bennett and Tkachuk on line 2, leave the first line intact. We have 7 solid defensemen if you play a better system.

        Let Sig go and I am sure Smith will be fine.

        By the way, Janks, Bennett and Byng played 13 minutes together during the season (more than I thought). Scored 2 times for a 8.91 GF/60. That would be near the top in the NHL. They allowed just 1 against.

  • SgtRoadBlock

    BT good luck in 10 days at the Draft …The Rebuild is still at work, i hope this open up more fans eyes and see we r not a Cup team next year too,
    we have holes from the top of the Staff and down to the Ahl Staff and Both Roster, This all can’t be fix by next season…

  • Vernon30

    Peters, although he plays a more up-tempo system may only be a mild upgrade. I can’t see them going down the Sutter road again…think that would be going backwards, despite his 2 Cups.

  • buts

    THat game where Lucic punched Smith 3 times and Gio and Hamilton did nothing is all you end to know about the type of players we have. I hope that BT has a planned in place to move out the players that don’t give a crap starting with Hamilton. He’s the logical choice to improve our forward group. Trade while his stock is high.