128Glen Gulutzan
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports

Who could coach the Flames next season?

The Calgary Flames are currently without a head coach. Following the firing of Glen Gulutzan (and his staff), general manager Brad Treliving is seeking out a new bench boss to get the Flames back to the playoffs – and ideally to help the team live up to its ample potential.

The challenge is figuring out what Treliving’s looking for. Thankfully, he was a bit chatty earlier this week.

Required qualities

Speaking following Gulutzan’s ouster, Treliving laid out a few qualities that the new Flames coach needs to have:

Let’s make a list!

There are a lot of coaches out there, but based on Treliving’s requirement that “having experience in this league is critical,” we can probably limit things to recent NHL head coaches.

For discussion purposes, here is a list of coaches that are currently available (they aren’t current NHL coaches, with one exception) and have coached a full NHL season during the past five years (e.g., since 2013-14).

The Long List (20)

Coaches are listed with any full-time gigs they currently have.

  • Craig Berube – Flyers (2013-15), St. Louis Blues associate coach
  • Dan Bylsma – Penguins (2013-14), Sabres (2015-17)
  • Dave Cameron – Senators (2014-16)
  • Jack Capuano – Islanders (2013-17), Florida Panthers associate coach
  • Willie Desjardins – Canucks (2014-17)
  • Dallas Eakins – Oilers (2013-15), San Diego Gulls head coach
  • Bob Hartley – Flames (2013-16)
  • Mike Johnston – Penguins (2014-16), Portland Winterhawks head coach
  • Paul MacLean – Senators (2013-15)
  • Kirk Muller – Hurricanes (2013-14), Montreal Canadiens associate coach
  • Ted Nolan – Sabres (2013-15)
  • Adam Oates – Capitals (2013-14)
  • Bill Peters – Hurricanes (2014-18), Carolina Hurricanes head coach
  • Todd Richards – Blue Jackets (2013-16), Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach
  • Patrick Roy – Avalanche (2013-16)
  • Lindy Ruff – Stars (2013-17)
  • Darryl Sutter – Kings (2013-17)
  • Michel Therrien – Canadiens (2013-17)
  • Dave Tippett – Coyotes (2013-17)
  • Alain Vigneault – Rangers (2013-18)

Peters has an out in his contract that expires later today, so we’ve included him. It’s also probably a safe bet that the Flames won’t re-hire coaches they’ve recently fired, so we’ve crossed out a few names that would otherwise qualify.

But let’s go a bit further. What if merely having recent NHL head coaching experience isn’t enough?

Clearing a low bar (13)

These guys coached a team into the playoffs at least once during the past five seasons.

  • Craig Berube
  • Dan Bylsma
  • Dave Cameron
  • Jack Capuano
  • Willie Desjardins
  • Bob Hartley
  • Mike Johnston
  • Todd Richards
  • Patrick Roy
  • Lindy Ruff
  • Darryl Sutter
  • Michel Therrien
  • Alain Vigneault

Only seven potential coaches missed the cut, including Peters. Let’s set this a bit higher.

Clearing a moderate bar (7)

These seven coaches led their team to win at least one playoff round over the past five seasons. They didn’t just get their teams to the dance, they actually did something once they were there.

  • Dan Bylsma
  • Jack Capuano
  • Bob Hartley
  • Lindy Ruff
  • Darryl Sutter
  • Michel Therrien
  • Alain Vigneault

Clearing a high bar (3)

These three coaches won multiple playoff rounds. They didn’t just make some noise, they came close to accomplishing a major goal for their clubs.

  • Darryl Sutter (4)
  • Michel Therrien (3)
  • Alain Vigneault (6)

Sutter coached the Kings to a Stanley Cup win in 2014. Vigneault led the Rangers to that same Cup Final, but lost.

  • The Doctor

    I’m wary of assuming there’s something wrong in the locker room when Gulutzan and Cameron were such obvious disasters as coaches. Get rid of Brouwer, Stajan and Bartkowski, a couple of moves up front to beef up scoring depth (particularly on the right side), one or two moves on defence and I think we’d be in pretty good shape with a coach who’s competent.

  • kirby

    hahahahaha so you think people don’t like you because you “come in and rock the boat” and “don’t mince words”? As if you’re some kind of higher level of enlightenment no-nonsense bastion of real talk? Give me a break dude. You literally just entirely validated what i said. You take yourself way too seriously.

    It’s NONE of what you’re saying. It’s that you’re clearly an insecure, adversarial petty BS talker. Some guy says “watch some hockey” and your reaction is to cuss out a blue streak, call him names, then talk about how you’re just “too real” for everyone? lol get over yourself pal.

    There is no problem with “push back” or having strong opinions. It’s moreso that you can’t elaborate on them without sounding like a petulant child. But yeah, the dude who explodes in an insult-laden rant towards someone just for saying “watch some hockey” is here talking about “precious sensibilities” lol ahhhh ironic hypocrisy. Never ceases to amaze.

  • What are you smoking?

    “As if you’re some kind of higher level of enlightenment no-nonsense bastion of real talk” Oh but you are though? Right? You just regurgitated everything that others have posted to you on here, that’s hilarious. But you are fooling no one.

  • Hockeysense9393

    Thank you Kirby… I wasn’t gonna say anything about “the rant”, but you kind of put it right. Don’t get mad about someone questioning you…just elaborate lol. It’s a forum…everybody has their points and opinions. I’m thinking he’s a millennium kidster? That can’t take a little criticism?? lol

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    LOL I thought he was more of a Old Grumpy Fart(like myself) but stuck in his “back in the days” and I know better than all of you especially with his insults, they just seemed … dated and old school ignorant. Just my opinion, I’m sure I’ll have another target on my back now ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ … Cheers all …