The Calgary Flames and assistant coach Marc Savard have mutually parted ways

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
28 days ago
Last summer, Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy had to hire an entire coaching staff. This summer, he’ll be looking to fill one vacancy. The club announced on Wednesday afternoon that they’ve mutually parted ways with assistant coach Marc Savard.
“We would like to thank Marc for his commitment last season and also for his professionalism during this process to arrive at today’s decision,” said Conroy in a media release. “We wish Marc success with his future endeavors in the game.”
Savard joined the Flames coaching staff last June after working with St. Louis as an assistant (2019-20) and two seasons as Windsor’s head coach (2021-23). His areas of responsibility with the Flames were the forwards and the club’s power play. The power play was a prominent source of pain for the Flames throughout the 2023-24 season. It spent the majority of the campaign near the bottom of the NHL’s rankings, though a late-season hot streak boosted it to a 17.9% conversion rate, good for 26th in the NHL.
In terms of power play underlying metrics, the Flames were actually pretty good. Per Natural Stat Trick’s metrics, they were 12th in expected goals for per 60, 16th in scoring chances for per 60, and 12th in high-danger scoring chances per for 60. But for whatever reason, the Flames’ forwards just couldn’t translate good underlyings into good results under Savard’s power play schemes. Heck, until Andrei Kuzmenko got hot late in the year, the man advantage unit lacked much mojo.
On at least one occasion, Flames head coach Ryan Huska bemoaned the power play’s lack of, well, power, and he noted at one point rather bluntly that the power play had cost them games. In 2022-23, the Flames’ power play was 19th and scored on 19.8% of their advantages under associate coach Kirk Muller. Under Savard, the power play’s production was even worse.
It seems unlikely that the Flames will dish the dirt on Savard’s departure, but it seems reasonable to assume that PP performance was a factor.
We’re not sure if Savard will be out of work for long, though, as he’s been the subject of much speculation connecting him to a gig on Craig Berube’s new staff with the Toronto Maple Leafs. We’ll see what unfolds.
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