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.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) April 17, 2018
In two seasons with the #Flames, Gulutzan went 82-68-14.
— Aaron Vickers (@AAVickers) April 17, 2018
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.
Treliving has repeated a few times, in some form or another: “We needed to do this to get to the level we expect.” #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) April 17, 2018
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.
So Treliving very much gives me the sense that Peters (or a coach still in the postseason) is the target, but that the next Flames coach is 100% going to have coached in the NHL before.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 17, 2018
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.
Repeatedly, Treliving indicated that he believed this decision signalled the “beginning” of the offseason in earnest. So with that, let the offseason begin.