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.

  • TheWheeze

    No to Bill Peters. A sideways move. Not an upgrade. Boudreau won’t coach here because of the Flames coaching pay rate. I just don’t think Gelinas has that “thing” needed to be a head coach. Probably why he has no real role with the team. Desjardins is another GG. Soft coach. I’m not a big fan of going back in time and dusting off something from the distant past, but who besides Sutter of any kind of quality besides AV is there? Really?

    • BlueMoonNigel

      I agree completely with most of what you said except that I am more open to Willie D. than you are.

      Billy Peters would be an epic mistake. Why fire Gully to hire him?

      As you said, Gelinas lacks “that thing to be a head coach.” He is also a terrible communicator. He makes Monahan sound as dynamic as Tony Robbins.

      No way to Sutter or to any of his brudders! If Daryl is brought back and the club continues to fizzle and sputter, Tre gets canned and once more you have Sutter as the GM. One axiom a smart pro sports GM always follows is to never hire a guy who covets your job.

      What exactly has AV done in the NHL? He has made his clubs competitive and even got them to the brink of the cup, but he has never won the whole enchilada. He has been an “almost” guy for a long, long time and that label can get pretty tough to shake. I think AV is a career A to B guy. I am not sure he is the right man for the Flames at this stage of the club’s development.

      Who is?

    • Could be worse, as per usual the Oilers missed completely and retained everyone as per usual. More forensic audits, more it is a process speeches, more press conferences that raise more questions than they answer, more evaluation is underway. PK and PP coaches may get skidded, but they were the worst in the league, in fact broke a record with one of them. I can understand why that would take so long to make a decision.
      Katz) Are Kevin, Craig & Scott still employed? CHECK
      Chiarelli) Yes, why do I have to answer to this door knob, or the other two for that matter?
      Katz) Because I am a brilliant businessman and I know what’s best, my son is in training to take your job.
      Chiarelli) Why am I here then?
      Katz) You would have to ask Bob (Bobby Nicks Burgers) Nicholson. I really don’t have a clue.
      Chiarelli) Thought I answered to you?
      Katz) I know, keeps everyone confused, things are great in California (Except the Bakersfield Condors). I may own that too, I will have to get back you.
      Chiarelli ) Again why am I here?
      Katz) Just wanted to confirm the 3 Amigos are still there. They are, so lets have another 80’S party.
      Chiarelli) Ok, talk to you next year I guess?
      Katz) Incorrect, you haven’t figured out your just keeping the seat warm for Gretzky? Not to worry, I employ lots of failed executives. We will find a spot for you.

  • Dougiefred

    The easy move has been made. Can only hope coaching was really a big part of the problem. Significant player changes will be a lot harder make.. Not there, so could never claim that I know what has been going on.

  • Bob's Hockey Stick

    GG and staff gone ? Wahoo !!!! About dang time this should have been done November 2017. Now let’s hope Tre hires an experienced coach who can out coach there opposition at least three times a season. Has the team prepared to play at the start of the season. And has the team commited to showing up for a full 60 min effort and stresses to coach for the win not the tie. Whether it’s Sutter, AV, ruff, O’keefe, T.Hunter , or Jake the squirrel from Jasper . I don’t care. I want to see our team have some level of success and not middle of the pack. Suprised it was not a clean sweep and Eliminator and Siglet still with the club. still more changes to make, At least we have an off season to talk about.

  • Joeyhere

    Unusual for BT to act this quickly – makes me wonder if this is positioning so that Peters doesn’t re-up by Friday

    Also – why the heck not fire Sigalet – the goalie killer

  • Mickey O

    “Although, Treliving did note that he believed that having experience was “critical” for success in the league.”

    No way Treliving is hiring a project. The next coach will have a long resume. Glad Treliving got out in front of the inevitable and will have his pick when axes start to fall. Still say Bill Peters has the inside track though.

    BT had to fire GG before Friday if he wants Peters. Still think back to a Flyers game at the end of the year – Keith Jones said that the Flames would be “very interested” in Bill Peters if he became available. Jones didn’t even preface his comment with something like, ‘rumour has it…’, it was more like a fact and a done deal.

    • Joeyhere

      I’m thinking he same micky – it’s not like BT to pull the trigger this quick unless he has some time pressure and bill Peters has until Friday to make a decision – still BT does liel to take his time wouldn’t surprise me if we wait a while to hear who the next coach is

    • Willi P

      Treliving waited too long when he made his first hire. Now he may be rushing the process so as not to lose out. I suppose that there is a reason hockey Canada want Peters for the World Championship but I think this group needs a more seasoned, hard voice with a history of winning.

  • freethe flames

    Now we wait and speculate. Now BT has to decide what of team he wants, the coach he hires will send a clear message. He will also have to send a message to the players and that may come through a key trade. The new NHL is about speed and skill and the ability have depth. The puck is in your rink BT.

  • Hotwing

    I know little about Peters. What makes him a good candidate for this team? Carolina did ‘ok’ this past year, but also didn’t overachieve (from what I can tell from 10,000 miles away).

  • Franko J

    With the firing of the coaches today by Treliving, I think the message is loud and clear that this off season changes are coming and he is adamant to make this team better for next season. The time for underachieving and underperforming from this current roster is now on alert as well. I sure do hope whoever the Flames hire will have some say in the personnel and roster.

    • The Doctor

      I think if it’s true that Gulutzan lost the room, then BT is sending a clear message to the players that he gets that, he’s heard them but now they’re going to have to step up and deliver on their part.

  • Joe Flames

    As much as I liked Sutter as a coach, I am not sure he is the right fit for this team. This team is not big and tough enough to play Sutter’s style. On the other hand, he would demand a consistent effort from every player and would probably love Bennett. I bet he could get the most out of Sam.

  • FL?MES

    I just want to mention that I haven’t been redirected to a spin and win website for a couple days. Have I been banned from these sites or did Bagged Milk finally contract out his IT responsibilities? Or maybe Bagged Milk got bagged?