Calgary Flames fire Glen Gulutzan as head coach

Apr 17 2018, 8:09 pm

Glen Gulutzan is out as head coach of the Calgary Flames.

The team announced the news on Tuesday afternoon, 10 days after the Flames missed the playoffs.

Assistant coaches Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard were also relieved of their duties.

After making the playoffs in his first season behind the Flames bench, Gulutzan’s team disappointed in year two. Calgary finished six points out of a playoff spot and had a -30 goal differential. Also concerning was the team’s inability to win at home, compiling a record at the Saddledome (17-20-4) which was worse than their road record (20-15-6).

Gulutzan’s two seasons with the Flames were turbulent to say the least.

Calgary started last season with just one win in their first six games and they had a 5-10-1 record in mid-November.

They turned it around and actually got on a nice roll to make the playoffs comfortably. But a four-game sweep at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks left a sour taste in people’s mouths.

More was expected of the Flames this season, given the maturation of their young players and the additions of Mike Smith and Travis Hamonic, but less was delivered.

The optics weren’t good midway through this season, when Gulutzan freaked out at his team during practice, launching his stick into the bleachers. That actually happened during a seven-game winning streak, though the Flames followed that up with a six-game losing streak.

After his next tirade that blew up on social media in March, the Flames won just nine of their final 12 games.

Many will point to Smith’s injury in February as a turning point with the team, and it was, but the problems were deeper than that. Calgary finished third-last in the league on the power play, which is unacceptable for a team loaded with players that should excel with the man advantage.

It wasn’t all Gulutzan’s fault, but when you don’t come close to making the playoffs in a year where you absolutely should, the coach usually takes the fall.

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