The Calgary Flames have decided to remove the interim tag from Geoff Ward’s position, officially naming him the 20th head coach in franchise history. Ward took over behind the bench when Bill Peters resigned earlier this season, moving from his previous position of associate coach.
Ward, 58, commanded the Flames to a 24-15-3 record in the regular season, landing them in the postseason tournament and defeating the Winnipeg Jets in the qualification round. The team wasn’t able to change their disappointing recent playoff history though, bowing out timidly to the Dallas Stars in the first round. Still, Ward will get a chance to really impose his style and leadership on the team moving forward. He certainly got more out of the team than Peters early on, as the Flames were 12-12-4 when the switch was made.
A longtime NHL assistant, Ward has had stops with the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils before coming to Calgary in 2018. Interestingly, his coaching career has also taken him overseas several times as a head coach in Germany, most recently with Adler Mannheim of the DEL (where he won the league title and Coach of the Year). That experience was enough to get him a role with the German national team, where he served as an assistant at four World Championships and some Olympic qualifying matches.
Ward has signed a new two-year contract with the Flames, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.