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.

  • Mickey O

    It was inevitable that BT wasn’t going to go down with the ship with GG and the rest of the coaching staff. Gulutzan was never the man for the job, but three guys did just get fired. More like a time for some sombre reflection than giddy exuberance – some of you critters seem to be enjoying this a bit too much. Tough gig being an NHL coach where he are hired to be fired. Then again I suppose none of them are working for peanuts.

  • 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?!!!!

  • 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.

  • First Name Unidentified

    Mosaic theory points to either Sutter or Peters. I am absolutely relieved that Cameron is gone, and excited that the whole bench is canned. As long as he’s a real NHL coach with some credible body of work I’m fine with whoever he is. Brad still needs to fix the RW, trade a couple of D, add a lot of scoring. I’d be talking to the Sabres right now.

  • Hockeysense93

    Sadly, I don’t think BT’s signing cap is all that high for a new coach. By the sounds of it…it will be under a million, which doesn’t really get you much these days (thanks Babcock). That eliminates 2/3 of any viable, experienced coach available…including Sutter or Vigneault. Peters or the like may be the Flames best option. Even Tippett is sitting on his @ss getting paid more then the Flames will offer him. Hence…this may take awhile.

  • 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.

  • Sven


    The hockey news Preseason preview :


    The six most talented teams in the NHL: (Descending order)

    The six least talented teams in the NHL: (Descending order):
    New Jersey
    Las Vegas


    Coach of the year – He who does the most with the least:
    Gerard Gallant

    Worst coach of the year- He who does the least with the most:
    Glen Gulutzan

  • Lazarus

    Well the nerds got their analytics wizard in Gulutzan. How’d that work out? Yeah corsi was great, team blew. Let’s get someone in that knows about HOCKEY this time…let’s get back to that.
    Good talk, see ya out there

    • The Penn

      I would love to see Hunter as our next coach . I know that he is unproven at the NHL level but has had a lot of success in the minors. As a player he played with his heart on his sleeve. That’s what this team needs

  • 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.

    • Beer League Coach

      If we are bringing back a Sutter, let’s bring back Brian. He had very little in the way of talent but still kept them competitive. And don’t forget his memorable TV interview. When asked if he thought size was a deterrent to some of his players (Marty St. Louis & others) his response was “It’s not the size of the bull that counts. It’s how well he is hung.”

  • Vernon30

    My first choice would be Trotz, if the Caps fail again, and he takes the fall. Hunter is intriguing, but has no NHL experience. He could beat up any coach in the league. I’m not nostalgic for Sutter, but can’t deny he’s won and had success as strictly a head coach.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        I liked the Sutter and Hunter combo on first sight, but upon further review, not so much. What kind of club did Sutter win with in LA? A big, in your face, tough team. Flames do not have that kind of personnel on the roster. Can Sutter even coach a club that is built on speed and skill? Are you prepared to let him experiment? Second, because Sutter was a GM, it is natural to think that if Tre falters as the GM, the natural replacement will be Sutter, especially with King still here.