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Calgary Flames: Eyes On The Prize

 

Calgary Flames new head coach Glen Gulutzan, poses for a portrait inside the Flames dressing room at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., on Friday June 17, 2016. Leah Hennel/Postmedia
Calgary Flames new head coach Glen Gulutzan, poses for a portrait inside the Flames dressing room at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta.

Head Coach: Glen Gulutzan, a native of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan he brings 15 years of coaching experience to the Calgary Flames. Prior to serving as the assistant coach of the Vancouver Canucks.

Assistant Coach: Dave Cameron, a native of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, he brings 22 years of coaching experience to the Flames. Cameron spent the past six seasons with the Ottawa Senators, most recently as their head coach the last two campaigns.

Assistant Coach: Paul Jerrard, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba he comes to Calgary after serving as an assistant coach for Vancouver’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets, and previously an assistant coach to Glen Gulutzan in 2011-12 to 2012-13 with the Dallas Stars.

Together, they have their sights set on a playoff berth next spring.

“With Dave, one of the things that I was looking for in that box is another head coach who has been through the rigours of the NHL as a head guy in a Canadian market. That was a big plus,” Gulutzan said of Cameron, who posted a 70-50-17 record as the Senators’ skipper. “It’s good to have a guy like that with you. I wanted that experience. I wanted a guy who has been in my shoes and a guy who can challenge you on certain things. Sometimes, as coaches, you get bull-headed and you get going your own way and you want someone there to say, ‘Hey, this has worked better for me.’ That was an important thing to have Dave next to me on that bench. It gives you a lot of experience.”

“The one thing about Dave Cameron — and you guys will all find out — is he’s one of heck of a human being. I probably talked to 20 people about Dave Cameron and the common theme was great coach, great communicator, unbelievable person, rock solid … And I know, with those qualities, you come in as an assistant and you take that role.” added Gulutzan

Gulutzan raved about Jerrard’s history in developing defencemen and also rattled off a handful of impressive shorthanded stats from his previous coaching stops.

“I don’t want to tip my card,” said Jerrard, who has 19 years of bench experience. “I think we’ve been very structured in our approach to it, detailed in our pre-scout. That’s something I’ll look to bring here and hopefully get us out of the basement on the penalty-kill.”

Newly named Calgary Flames assistant coaches Paul Jerrard (L) and Dave Cameron (R) pose after an on ice session at the team's summer development camp at Winsport in Calgary, Alberta
Newly named Calgary Flames assistant coaches Paul Jerrard (L) and Dave Cameron (R) pose after an on ice session at the team’s summer development camp at Winsport in Calgary, Alberta

 

KEY ARRIVALS: Brian Elliott, G: The Flames secured a No. 1 goaltender at the draft when they acquired Elliott from St. Louis for two draft picks. Elliott, 31, went 23-8-6 with a 2.07 GAA and a .930 save percentage last season. … Troy Brouwer, F: Brouwer had 18 goals and 21 assists in 82 games for the Blues last season after spending the previous four seasons with the Washington Capitals. Brouwer signed a four-year contract with the Flames July 1. …Chad Johnson, G: The Flames secured a backup goalie July 1 when Johnson signed a one-year contract. Johnson played a career-high 45 games last season when he went 22-16-4 with a 2.36 GAA and a .920 save percentage for the Buffalo Sabres.

A packed house for a scrimmage, at the Calgary Flames Development Camp held at Winsport, in Calgary, Alberta
A packed house for a scrimmage, at the Calgary Flames Development Camp held at Winsport, in Calgary, Alberta.

KEY DEPARTURES: Jonas Hiller, G: Hiller is returning to his native Switzerland after signing a three-year contract with EHC Biel-Bienne in April. Hiller spent the past two seasons with Calgary after playing seven seasons with the Anaheim Ducks. … Joe Colborne, F: The Flames declined to give Colborne a qualifying offer, and he opted to sign with the Colorado Avalanche as an unrestricted free agent July 1. Colborne scored a career-high 19 goals in 73 games for the Flames last season. … Josh Jooris, RW: There was talk the Flames wanted Jooris back but couldn’t re-sign him until they took care of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and knew exactly how much money they had remaining. If that were the case Jooris clearly got tired of waiting and has elected to move on from Calgary.

ON THE CUSP: Matthew Tkachuk, F: The son of former NHL power forward Keith Tkachuk, the Flames’ first round pick (No. 6) at this year’s draft had 30 goals and 77 assists in 57 games last season for London of the Ontario Hockey League. The Flames might opt to send Tkachuk back to London for more seasoning, but expect the 18-year-old to make a push in training camp. … Emile Poirier, F: Calgary’s first round pick (No. 22) at the 2013 NHL Draft is coming off his second season in the American Hockey League, where he had 12 goals and 17 assists in 60 games for Stockton in 2015-16. … Rasmus Andersson, D: A second round pick (No. 53) in 2015, the 6-foot, 210-pound defenceman had 60 points and a plus-34 rating in 64 games for Barrie in the OHL last season.

WHAT THEY STILL NEED: Troy Brouwer was a nice signing and will provide leadership and some punch on the power play, but the Flames could still use another top-six forward to help solidify their chances of returning to the playoffs. Left wing Hunter Shinkaruk shows promise (he had 27 goals in 62 AHL games last season), but it may be asking a lot for the 21-year-old to step in and play on the second line this fall.

WHAT THEY NEED TO FOCUS ON: Now, with stable goaltending with Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson, the Flames could become a more efficient team. Johnny Gaudreau, was one of five forwards with at least 75 points, 20 power play points and 200 shots on goal last season, Sean Monahan, posting back-to-back 60-plus point seasons, you might be surprised to read Monahan’s stat line, which reads like a proven number one pivot – 22 goals as a rookie, 31 the following season and 27 in 2015-16.

The Flames have their sights set on locking down young stars Gaudreau and Monahan to long-term deals. For GM Brad Treliving, it’s a delicate balance of keeping his two best offensive threats happy, while at the same time ensuring the team has enough money to re-sign other core pieces down the road.

Given the way the process has played out, speculation would suggest the initial asking price on part of Gaudreau/Monahan was higher than Treliving was comfortable with. By allowing other RFAs to set market value, Calgary decided they were willing to roll the dice in hopes to save a few extra dollars annually.

Calgary has spent $58,030,399 towards the 2016-17 salary cap ($73 million dollars). That leaves the team with a little under $15 million to sign Gaudreau and Monahan…The smart play for Brad Treliving would be to secure both players to max eight year deals. Both Monahan and Gaudreau are expected to be major core pieces for this franchise moving forward, therefore another extension could be worked out before either deal expires.

Check back for updates, as the Flames prepare for the 2016-17 season – Codi.

codihawkes
Codi Hawkes is a born and raised Calgarian who has a passion for hockey. Growing up Codi was a Calgary Flames enthusiast, with that comes memories of the 2003-2004 Stanley Cup finals at the young age of six, and the 2014-2015 season by finishing third in the Pacific Division the qualified for their first Flames playoff appearance since '09. He is currently a sportswriter and blogger for weliveforhockey.com which posts all NHL news. Codi covers the league’s top stories, and is currently considering Journalism studies at SAIT this Fall.
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