The Calgary Flames fired head coach Glen Gulutzan on Tuesday, after another disappointing season in which the team finished 37-35-10, fifth in the Pacific Division, and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs by 11 points.
Calgary made the playoffs during Gulutzan’s first season at the helm.
Along with Gulutzan, assistant coaches Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard were also fired.
“Ultimately, you are what your record says you are, but I felt in order to get our team to the level it needs to get to, and each individual to the level he needs to get to, that we had to make this decision,” Calgary general manager Brad Treliving said (h/t NHL.com).
Calgary scored an NHL-low 61 third-period goals, and had a home record of 17-20-4 which was the fourth-worst in the league.
“We underperformed,” Treliving said. “When you go through the process of underperforming, you pull everything. It starts with myself, player decisions, personnel decisions. You go into the players’ performance, who played well, who didn’t and why?”
“Glen’s a good coach,” Treliving said. “Glen is a wonderful person. We didn’t get our team to the point that I felt we needed to. I thought we underperformed. I thought we had a group of players underperform. There’s parts of our game, when you look at certain special teams, that underperformed. You look back and say, ‘How do we get it there?’ I concluded that to get us there, we needed to make a change.”
Gulutzan was 82-68-14 in two seasons with Calgary and in four NHL seasons (Dallas Stars, 2011-13) is 146-125-23.
Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau Enjoying Strong Season
The Calgary Flames have seen some strong play from forward Johnny Gaudreau, who has played well enough to earn his 5th All-Star selection.
“Obviously he deserves it,” Flames forward Michael Frolik said, according to NHL.com. “He’s an unbelievable player. He’s so fast, and in those small spaces, those tight turns, he can handle the puck with speed. It’s fun to watch him and he’s been great this year.”
Flames defenseman Mark Giordana spoke highly of Gaudreau’s play.
“He can get you the puck in situations where you don’t think he can,” Giordano said. “But I think what people don’t see is just how competitive he is. The guys who are the best players in the League are [competitive] because they want the puck in key situations, and that’s how he is.
“Just look at his overtime play and stuff like that. I’m happy for the way his career is going but this year he’s taken that next step, for sure.”
“I think last year we played with Micheal Ferland, who was a little bit more of a shooter,” Gaudreau said of his strong play this season.
“Lindholm, obviously, is a shooter as well, but he can see the ice really well. He can make some pretty high-end plays, so I think I just got an opportunity to shoot a little more with a player like that on my line.”
Flames’ Travis Hamonic Suffers Facial Fracture During Fight
Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic will be out of action for a bit after he suffered a facial fracture during a fight with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson on opening night, the team officially announced on Friday.
In a corresponding move, the Flames called up defenseman Rasmus Anderson from the AHL to fill the empty roster spot.
Hamonic and Gudbranson got into it only 4:22 into the first period.
Canadiens Trade Kerby Rychel to Flames
The Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Flames have completed a trade that will send forward Kerby Rychel to Calgary in exchange for forward Hunter Shinkaruk, according to an official team announcement from the Flames on Monday.
Rychel, 23, totalled 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points last season in the AHL split between the Toronto Marlies and the Laval Rocket, and will now join his 4th NHL organization during his short career, having spent time with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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