The Calgary Flames have dropped the hammer after a disappointing season, firing head coach Glen Gulutzan and assistants Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard. The team will be looking for a new coach once again, after hiring Gulutzan just two seasons ago.
The Flames were supposed to be Stanley Cup contenders this season, trading away several draft picks to acquire Travis Hamonic and Mike Smith to solidify their defense and goaltending. It seemed to have the opposite effect, as the Flames missed the playoffs entirely even while Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan put up excellent seasons. Too many nights the team was unable to control their opposition, something that will be laid at the feet of the coaching staff.
Gulutzan was hired in June of 2016 and was praised for his work with young players in the ECHL and AHL, but like his stint as head coach of the Dallas Stars it didn’t work out in Calgary. Even with an 82-68-14 record through his two seasons, a first-round sweep last season marked the beginning of the end. The Ducks walked right through Calgary, with Gulutzan’s decision to start—and then immediately pull—Brian Elliott in Game 4 coming under much criticism.
Candidates to replace Gulutzan haven’t been confirmed, but the spotlight immediately turns to Bill Peters in Carolina. Peters has been tenuously linked to Calgary over the last few weeks, and has until Friday to exercise an out clause in his current contract. If it’s not Peters, there are certainly several experienced coaches floating around the league—Willie Dejardins, Alain Vigneault and Lindy Ruff come to mind—that could be potential candidates.