1:09 pm: The Flames have announced Savard and Lambert’s hiring as assistant coaches, also confirming that LaBarbera and MacLean are returning to the team in 2023-24.
10:54 am: While news about the Calgary Flames in the past 24 hours has surrounded people wanting out of the organization, at least one person wants in. The team is hiring Marc Savard as an assistant coach, per Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek (and Savard himself).
According to The Hockey News’ Tony Ferrari, Savard is expected to work with the team’s power play and offensive strategy.
Savard’s hire continues to bring the band of early 2000s Flames players back together, joining one-time teammates Craig Conroy and Jarome Iginla in coaching and managerial roles. After coming over in a June 1999 trade from the New York Rangers, Savard registered 6o goals, 94 assists, and 154 points in 221 games as a Flame around the turn of the century before later stints with the Atlanta Thrashers and Boston Bruins.
The move will likely complete Calgary’s bench next season, led by new head coach Ryan Huska. Per Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg, their goalie coach position is probably solidified with Jason LaBarbera not being affected by the team’s other coaching changes.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman says only one of the team’s three other assistants from last season under head coach Darryl Sutter is returning – Cail MacLean. Savard and former Nashville Predators assistant Dan Lambert are expected to fill the spots vacated by Huska’s promotion and the departure of associate coach Kirk Muller.
Savard’s return to the game in a coaching role has been one of the better feel-good stories of the past few years. The Boston Bruins signed him to a seven-year, $28.15MM extension set to begin in the 2010-11 season, during which he only played 25 games. He spent the final six seasons of the contract on long-term injured reserve due to severe post-concussion complications.
Nearly a decade later, Savard joined the St. Louis Blues’ bench in 2019-20, helping them to a second-place finish in the regular season while boasting the third-best power play in the league. He didn’t return for the 2020-21 campaign but then took over as the head coach of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires for the following two seasons, during which the team posted a combined record of 88-35-13 and reached the OHL final in 2021-22.