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Friedman: Flames ‘trending toward Geoff Ward returning as head coach’

A fairly newsy tidbit from Saturday night’s Headline segment will be of interest to Calgary Flames fans. In the segment, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on the status of Flames interim coach Geoff Ward.

In short? It sounds like Ward’s got the job.

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Here’s Friedman:

There is no comment from the Flames, but word is beginning to seep out that it’s trending towards Geoff Ward returning as the Head Coach of the team for next season. The word is, again with no comment from the team, that it seems to be trending in that direction.

So what does this mean? First off, the Flames do not comment on things that aren’t yet official as a rule. They don’t like to fuel speculation and just wait until the Ts are crossed and the lower-case Js are dotted. That said, Friedman’s sources are well-connected and it seems probable that he was told by somebody in the know that Ward has the job.

Ward was a finalist in 2015 for the coaching gig that went to Glen Gulutzan. Then when Bill Peters was hired in 2018, Ward was recruited as an associate coach (a small promotion and a raise over his assistant gig in New Jersey). He took over as interim coach in November 2019 and guided the Flames through perhaps their weirdest season in franchise history.

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The Flames have gone through four coaches since Mark Giordano became captain in 2013: Bob Hartley, Gulutzan, Peters and Ward. The appetite probably wasn’t there to bring on a fifth from either management, ownership, or both, and multiple players praised Ward’s approach to the job and the way he empowered the team.

It sounds like he’ll get a shot to empower them for at least another full season.